Instead of seriously fixing the issue of gun violence in U.S. schools by supporting a federal ban on semi-automatic weapons, Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott launched “random intruder detection audits” where inspectors test their ability to enter schools. According to CNN, a safety audit in Uvalde, Texas, failed miserably on Monday when an inspector posing as an intruder made his way into the school's cafeteria.
CNN reports auditors tested three schools in Uvalde, and although two passed, in one case, the inspector was able to easily slip inside the school through an unlocked door on the cafeteria’s loading dock. Thankfully, no students were present. The inspector reported that the cafeteria staff did stop him.
The audits were launched by Abbott in June, following the deadly massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde that left 19 children and two teachers dead on May 24.
RELATED STORY: My daughter’s gone. I have to fix it for others’: Mom of Uvalde shooting victim Lexi Rubio
“That really is 100% my responsibility to see that didn’t happen… The delivery of goods into loading docks was just something, quite honestly, that I overlooked. But I won’t overlook it next time,” Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District interim superintendent Gary Patterson told school board members.
CNN reports that Patterson also announced to school board members that new security measures were on the way including new doors, bulletproof windows, metal detectors, and at least 500 security cameras.
But all the security in the world isn’t what survivors and the families of mass shooting victims want.
During a recent hearing in Washington, The Guardian reports that Faith Mata, whose 10-year-old sister, Tess, was murdered at Robb elementary, pushed lawmakers to consider laying down the law on guns.
“Are we not tired of hearing the stories of victims, hearing from victims’ families? Are we not tired of hearing yet another tragedy because of gun violence? When is enough enough,” Mata said, adding, “This debatable topic on assault rifles should not be brought up again because someone else’s child or sibling was murdered. It’s just an excuse at this point.”
The hearing, titled “Examining Uvalde: The Search for Bipartisan Solutions to Gun Violence,” was hosted by the House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary and held in mid-December.
Roy Guerrero, Uvlade’s only pediatrician, also testified.
“These kids weren’t helpless victims that day. They were spunky, intelligent, street-smart kids … But with a weapon like [the AR-15], [they] had no chance… You might mistakenly imagine a funeral where a child dies peacefully in a colorful coffin. But make no mistake, there’s no peace in the death of a child by a weapon of war,” Guerrero said as he described the gruesome way many of the children died that day in Uvalde.
But despite the ongoing shooting deaths of kids reported all too often, Republican lawmakers like Abbott refuse to make changes in gun laws.
Five days ago marked 10 years since a gunman with an AR-15 rifle walked into an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, and opened fire on a classroom of first-graders, murdering 20 kids and six adults. Although there have been some changes to gun laws, any legislator’s efforts to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines has been a constant losing battle—despite the fact that the leading cause of death for American children is gun violence.
Kimberly Mata-Rubio, whose daughter Alexandria “Lexi” Aniyah Rubio was killed at Robb Elementary, told Daily Kos she has become an activist fighting for a federal ban on assault rifles.
Of course, at the state level, she wants to raise the age to purchase an assault weapon from 18 to 21 years old and increase background checks for gun purchases.
“But ultimately, my goal is a complete ban. I want a federal ban on assault weapons because I don't know if my state will ever get on board with that. So I have to take it to the federal level,” Mata-Rubio says.
“We’ve done five trips to D.C. to speak with senators, Republicans and Democrats, anyone who’ll listen, sharing Lexi's story, trying to reach out to moms and dads. I feel like a lot of times, we just talk about it on the political spectrum, and it's so much more, and these are our babies. So if I can reach moms and dads and say, hey, we all have this one thing in common. We want to save our children. We want our children to grow up. Then we have to work for change together. And that is a federal ban on assault weapons.”