HomeBlocksFront-GridTexas School Shooting Hits Raw Nerve at Home

Texas School Shooting Hits Raw Nerve at Home

First published in the May 26 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The small city of Uvalde, Texas, may be more than 1,300 miles away from La Cañada Flintridge, but the tragic event in which at least 19 schoolchildren and two teachers were massacred by a lone 18-year-old gunman at an elementary school Tuesday hit too close to home for families.
LCF parents flocked to social media to express their condolences and concerns over security at schools and other public sites, and the La Cañada Unified School District sent a message addressing the shooting — the deadliest school shooting since 2012, when 26 children and teachers were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.
“Our hearts grieve for these innocent lives lost and the tragic impact on their loved ones and the community,” Wendy Sinnette, LCUSD superintendent, wrote in a message sent to families. “I know you join me in sending your thoughts to the families and community members of Robb Elementary School in Texas.”
Sinnette also assured parents that safety is the district’s highest priority and that LCUSD has safety procedures in place.
“And part of that, we ask for your help in continuing to create safe spaces and reporting any concerns,” Sinnette added. “We continue to tell our students, staff and families that if they hear anything, or know something, to say something.”
The Governing Board is convening for a regular meeting Thursday night and the tragedy will likely be mentioned by Board President Dan Jeffries and Sinnette during their reports. Safety and security will not be discussed by the board or staff because it is not a part of the agenda, but Sinnette told the Outlook Valley Sun that she anticipates it will be put on a future agenda to update the community.
As some parents seek information from school districts about security, others are looking for answers from political leaders. President Joe Biden cut his trip to Asia short and returned to the White House as soon as he heard about the shooting and addressed the nation from the Roosevelt Room Tuesday evening.
“I had hoped, when I became president, I would not have to do this again,” he said. “Another massacre. Uvalde, Texas. An elementary school. Beautiful, innocent, 2nd, 3rd, 4th graders. And how many scores of little children who witnessed what happened, see their friends die as if they’re on a battlefield, for God’s sake. They’ll live with it the rest of their lives.”
After mourning the loss of 19 children and two teachers, Biden then shifted to the ongoing debate of gun control.
“As a nation, we have to ask: When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When in God’s name will we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?” Biden said. “I am sick and tired of it. We have to act. And don’t tell me we can’t have an impact on this carnage.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom is heeding the president’s call to action and pledged to fast-track more than a dozen bills “to protect people from gun violence” following the shooting in Uvalde.
“We’re going to control the controllable, the things we have control of,” Newsom, alongside other Democratic leaders, said at the state Capitol on Wednesday. “California leads this national conversation. When California moves, other states move in the same direction.”
Newsom said he may use an emergency clause to expedite the process but hopes to sign off on most of the bills by next month.
One of those measures passed by the state Senate Tuesday was Senate Bill 1327, which was co-authored by Sen. Anthony Portantino of LCF and would allow citizens to sue anyone who manufacturers, sells, distributes, transports or imports assault weapons or any .50 BMG rifle into the state. The bill passed with a 24-10 vote and will now make its way to the Assembly.
The bill was modeled on the structure of a recent Texas law that prohibits abortion six weeks into a woman’s pregnancy and allows anyone to file a lawsuit against anyone who provides or aids an abortion.
“Today we witnessed another tragic school shooting,” Portantino said in a statement. “We have a gun violence epidemic in this country. The continued need to adopt sensible solutions to our nation’s tragic history of gun violence is dire and necessary. We must continue to take swift and meaningful steps toward combatting this epidemic in our country and improve public safety for all Californians.”
Despite having some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, California isn’t immune to mass shootings. A 68-year-old man was charged with killing one person and injuring five others at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods on May 15, and another incident occurred in Downtown Sacramento on April 3 in which multiple suspects killed six people and injured 12 others.


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