Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is urging the Florida Legislature to add gun violence reform to this week’s special session agenda following Tuesday’s mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
An 18-year-old gunman killed fourteen students and one teacher at Robb Elementary School in the city of Uvalde, marking the deadliest school shooting in the state’s history. Texas Governor Greg Abbott confirmed the toll during a Tuesday press conference, adding that the shooter was killed by responding police officers. Abbot noted that two officers were also struck by gunfire, but did not sustain serious injuries.
The death toll has now risen to 21, including 19 children and two adults.
Today’s shooting comes just 10 days after a gunman killed 10 people at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York. Authorities say the May 14th shooting, also carried out by an 18-year-old, was a racist attack.
“I am completely heartbroken and sickened by the news of another horrific mass shooting today in Texas. While our country is still reeling from the racially motivated murders in Buffalo just ten days ago, this is yet another devastating tragedy that took the lives of innocent elementary school students,” Fried said. “In Florida, we know all too well the pain and trauma that senseless mass shootings cause in our lives and our communities, and our hearts go out to the victims and everyone who has been hurt by gun violence.
The attack at the Texas elementary school marks the 30th shooting at a K-12 school in 2022, according to a CNN count. Fried, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate, issued the statement shortly after the tragedy, saying enough is enough.
“I want to be completely clear: offering ‘thoughts and prayers’ is not enough. It’s past time for us to take serious and meaningful action to prevent gun violence. The Legislature must add gun violence prevention reform to the current Special Session agenda. There cannot be any more children massacred or lives destroyed by mass shootings while our government sits idly by,” Fried continued.
Florida’s lawmakers are back in Tallahassee this week to tackle the state’s turbulent property insurance market. The special session is set to run from May 23 to May 27.
My heart breaks for the families of all those lost in today’s shooting and for all affected by gun violence. It makes me sick to my stomach that this can happen over and over again and the most those in power can offer is thoughts and prayers.
We need gun violence reform NOW. pic.twitter.com/U35HAerTMW
— Commissioner Nikki Fried (@NikkiFriedFL) May 24, 2022