Gun violence victims plead for stricter gun control in testimony

Americas Now


Testimony of victims

Emotional testimony from family members of victims and survivors of gun violence was delivered to a congressional committee in the US capital ​Wednesday, in the wake of the latestU.S. mass shootings.

Families of victims pleaded with members of ​the House panel for stricter gun control, as Senate talks currently focus on passing modest changes such as ​encouraging states to pass so-called “red flag” laws, denying firearms to people judged a risk to themselves or the public.

Testimony Highlights:

● “When I went to the backpacks, he shot my friend that was next to me and I thought he was going to come back to the room so I grabbed the blood and I put it all over me.”

11-year-old Miah Cerrillo, a fourth-grade survivor of ​the Uvalde, Texas​, ​school shooting. ​The attack left 19 of her schoolmates and two teachers dead, killed by an 18-year-old gunman. During her emotional testimony, Miah explained how she tried to protect herself after watching her classmates and teacher being shot.

● “She’s not the same little girl that I used to play with and run with and do everything, because she was daddy’s little girl.” 

Father of Miah, Miguel Cerrillo, as he spoke through tears of the trauma his child is facing after the shooting.  

● “We are lying on the operating table, riddled with bullets like the children of Robb Elementary and so many other schools. We are bleeding out and you are not there.” 

Pediatrician Roy Guerrero who saw the bodies of the children killed, telling the committee that they need to act. 

● “I left my daughter at that school, and that decision will haunt me for the rest of my life.”

Kimberly Rubio, mother of 10-year-old Lexi Rubio, who died in the Uvalde shooting, ​spoke of ​her last goodbye to her daughter after attending an awards ceremony at the school that morning. 

● “I invite you to my home to help me clean Zaire’s wounds so that you may see up-close the damage that has been caused to my son and to my community.” 

Zeneta Everhart, mother of Zaire Goodman, wounded in the mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, ​in May 14 that killed 10 people. 

● “Our gun control lobbyists and politicians claim that their policies will save lives and reduce violence. Well, those policies did not save my son.”

Lucretia Hughes, a gun rights advocate opposed to gun control measures, whose 19-year-old son was killed in an April 2016 ​shooting.

According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted the day after the Uvalde shooting, the majority of Americans support stronger gun laws. In the poll, 84 percent of respondents expressed support for background checks for all firearms sales, while 70 percent backed “red flag” laws enabling authorities to confiscate guns from people found to be a threat to public safety.

Meanwhile, the full House of Representatives debated a bill ​Wednesday to raise the minimum age to 21 from 18 on purchases of certain firearms and toughen prohibitions on untraceable guns. That bill is highly unlikely to pass the Senate, where it would require the support of 10 Republicans.

For more, check out our exclusive content on CGTN Now and subscribe to our weekly newsletter, The China Report.