In the light of recent shooting incidents in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, New Jersey Democratic Senator Cory Booker expressed doubt that any meaningful gun control legislation would be passed.
On Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” Booker said he welcomed whatever improvements that might be reached at the federal level, but he was “under no illusion” that real changes would be accomplished unless a larger national movement formed and pro-gun lawmakers were pushed out of office.
“Whatever we can get done, if it saves a life it’s worth doing, and so my colleagues who are entering the bipartisan talks, I fully support that,” Booker expressed himself. “But I’m under no illusion that we are going to do the things that need to be done, that the majority of Americans overwhelmingly support, Republican and Democrat, that can create significant safety.”
“I return again and again, to how change is made in America,” he concluded, as reported.
Booker used the 1963 bombings of a church in Birmingham, Alabama, as an example of a critical moment in the civil rights movement, when four young girls were slain.
“The nation rallied, movement continued until we demanded change, and it was made,” Booker continued. “And people who did not make the change…paid at the polls. Until that happens, we are going to see at best incremental change. But as far as a federal level, I’m not that hopeful.”
“This is not a one-move solution,” Booker added. “There must be many things done…But I am sorry. We are at a point in this nation where we are going to have to mobilize a greater movement… Until the redemptive power of the love for all of our children is greater than the destructive power of the love of our guns, and money, and power, until that redemptive love of our children turns into action, then nothing is gonna change.”
Meanwhile, Uvalde police face scrutiny over what happened.
Police officers were urged by frustrated onlookers to charge into the Texas elementary school where a gunman’s rampage killed 19 children and two teachers, witnesses said. Cops are facing major scrutiny now that more details are emerging.
Nearby women shouted at the officers soon after the attack began: “Go in there! Go in there!” said Juan Carranza, 24, who saw the scene from outside his house, across the street from Robb Elementary School in the close-knit town of Uvalde. But the officers did not go in, said Carranza.
One of the parents, Javier Cazares, whose fourth-grade daughter, Jacklyn Cazares, was killed in the attack, said that when he heard about the shooting, he raced to the school, and arrived while police were still gathered outside the building.
He was getting upset seeing that the police were not moving in, so he raised the idea of charging into the school with several other bystanders, per report.
“Let’s just rush in because the cops aren’t doing anything like they are supposed to,” Cazares said.
“More could have been done. They were unprepared,” he added.
Just a few minutes earlier, Carranza had watched as Salvador Ramos was crashing his truck into a ditch outside the school, grabbing his AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle and shooting at two people outside a nearby funeral home who ran away uninjured.
Though there were conflicting reports from authorities on whether the men exchanged gunfire, officials say he “encountered” a school district security officer outside the school. He then ran inside and fired on two and injured both arriving Uvalde police officers who were outside the building, according to Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson Travis Considine.
Ramos then entered the school and charged into one classroom and began to kill.
Lt. Christopher Olivarez of the Department of Public Safety said that he then “barricaded himself by locking the door and just started shooting children and teachers that were inside that classroom.”
“It just shows you the complete evil of the shooter,” he added.
All those killed were in the same classroom, he said.
40 minutes to an hour elapsed from when Ramos opened fire on the school security officer to when the tactical team shot him, Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw told reporters. Though a department spokesman said later that they could not give a solid estimate of how long the gunman was in the school or when he was killed.
“The bottom line is law enforcement was there. They did engage immediately. They did contain (Ramos) in the classroom,” said McCraw.
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