Powerful WNY Ceremony to Honor the Uvalde Dead – but What’s Next?

WEST NEW YORK – Is anything really going to happen?

“Today, I have hope,” said Cory Booker, standing outside Memorial High School during an emotional tribute this morning to those killed last week at a school in Uvalde, Texas.

Sen. Bob Menendez also spoke, as did the local mayor, the state teachers’ union president and other activists, including a teacher and student. Hundreds of other students, who initially marched around the block chanting in support of gun laws, watched from the school’s front lawn.

On another part of the lawn, 21 empty desks and chairs were assembled to dramatize the 19 students and two teachers killed last week.

Uvalde is almost 2,000 miles from this Hudson County town, but there is a real connection. Both communities are overwhelmingly Hispanic.

Menendez, who grew up just a few blocks away from Memorial High School in nearby Union City, read the names and ages of those killed. He choked up briefly when he recalled photos of some of the slain children holding trophies or honor roll certificates.

This was a powerful ceremony.

“No more families need to go through … what these (families) are going through today,” Menendez said.

Still, no one watching – probably not even the students – could ignore the reality.

We have seen many, many mass shootings – in schools, in supermarkets, in houses of worship, on the Las Vegas strip.

But nothing happens in regard to gun laws.

Nicole Alzamora, of Moms Demand Action, in regard to gun laws, angrily called senators refusing to act “cowards.” But the problem is that at least some of those “cowards” are needed to bring about change.

Menendez talked about ongoing negotiations in the 50-50 Senate to reach consensus on “something.” He cautioned that the “something” may not be all that advocates want, which includes a ban on semi-automatic weapons, or “assault rifles.”

In play apparently are expanding background checks and “red flag” laws, which are designed to prevent disturbed people from obtaining firearms.

Booker said cynics who think nothing has happened in regard to gun laws are wrong.

He spoke of more gun laws in some states and the activism of many groups to keep the issue in front of lawmakers.

Booker compared the struggle to the Civil Rights movement, noting that, “We are making progress.” He added that it would have been folly to evaluate the civil rights movement in 1954, which was when the landmark Brown v. Board of Education court ruling was made. Booker’s call for acceptance of incremental change drew cheers from the crowd.

Earlier, Booker said – hopefully, one presumes – that this is “not a partisan issue.”

Perhaps in some ways.

But if reasonable gun laws were truly bi-partisan, we would have them already.

Do not overlook the fact that the right wing of the Republican Party remains defiant.

Just in the last two days, two Republican congressional candidates – John Flora (CD-7) and Toby Anderson (CD-11) – who are seeking conservative support in next week’s primaries, issued proposals in the wake of the Uvalde shooting

Both talked about upgrading school security. Both condemned Democrats for threatening to undermine the Second Amendment.

Neither said anything about controlling firearms.

(Visited 594 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

News From Around the Web

The Political Landscape