Public Figures React to Tragic Uvalde Texas School Shooting With Fury and Sorrow

Barack Obama Reacting to School Shooting

Screenshot: Twitter | Photo: Headlinephotos/Depositphotos

The mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, has sparked nationwide grief and outrage. The lives of 19 young students and two teachers were cut tragically short on May 24, 2022, at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas—just days before summer break. It occurred nearly 10 years after the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy in December 2012, in which 20 children and six adults were killed.

This fact, and it being on the heels of another mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, has rallied cries for gun control. Many prominent figures are using their massive platforms to express their sorrow, fury, and desire for action so that tragedies like Uvalde can be avoided in the future.

One of the most impassioned responses came from Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr. On the day of the shooting, he said he would refuse to “answer any basketball questions” hours before Game 4 of the NBA’s Western Conference Finals. He then used the press conference to talk about gun violence and gun control, which you can read in full below.

Here is a transcript of Steve Kerr's powerful message:

I'm not going to talk about basketball, nothing's happened with our team in the last six hours. We're going to start the same way tonight. Any basketball questions don't matter.

Since we left shootaround, 14 children were killed 400 miles from here, and a teacher. And in the last 10 days we've had elderly Black people killed in a supermarket in Buffalo, we've had Asian churchgoers killed in Southern California, and now we have children murdered at school.

When are we going to do something? I'm tired, I'm so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there. I'm tired of the moments of silence. Enough.

There's 50 senators, right now, who refuse to vote on H.R.8, which is a background check rule that the House passed a couple of years ago, it's been sitting there for two years. And there's a reason they won't vote on it: To hold onto power. So I ask you, Mitch McConnell, I ask all of you Senators who refuse to do anything about the violence and school shootings and supermarket shootings, I ask you: Are you going to put your own desire for power ahead of the lives of our children, and our elderly, and our churchgoers? Because that's what it looks like. It's what we do every week.

So I'm fed up, I've had enough, we're going to play the game tonight, but I want every person here, every person listening to this to think about your own child, or grandchild, or mother, or father, or sister, or brother — how would you feel if this happened to you today? We can't get numb to this. We can't sit here and just read about it and go, ‘Well, let's have a moment of silence, yeah, go Dubs, come on Mavs, let's go.' That's what we're going to do, we're going to play a basketball game. And 50 Senators in Washington are going to hold us hostage.

You realize that 90 percent of Americans, regardless of political party, want background checks, universal background checks? 90% of us. We are being held hostage by 50 Senators in Washington who refuse to even put it to a vote, despite what we, the American people, want. They won't vote on it because they want to hold on to their own power. It's pathetic. I've had enough.

Kerr is far from the only outraged, frustrated, and heartbroken public figure to speak out. Former President Barack Obama noted that just 10 days after the racist massacre in Buffalo that the country is dealing with another gun-related disaster. “It’s long past time for action, any kind of action,” he writes. “And it’s another tragedy—a quieter but no less tragic one—for families to wait another day.”

See more reactions from prominent people, below.

Celebrities and other prominent public figures are speaking out about the mass shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas. Former President Barack Obama shared his thoughts in a series of tweets.

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy gave a speech about the shooting, asking, “What are we doing?”

Beto O'Rourke, the Democratic candidate for Texas Governor, made his voice heard at a press conference.

American poet and activist Amanda Gorman commented on the inhumanity of it all.

Celebrities including Matthew McConaughey, LeBron James, Taylor Swift, and others expressed their sorrow and frustration.

Late night talk show hosts also gave heartfelt reactions to the tragic events with one clear message: something needs to change.

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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