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Uvalde shooting victim's father: 'If these laws don't change, it's gonna keep on happening'

The father of one of the victims of last year’s mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, urged state lawmakers this week to push forward with gun control legislation, arguing that “if these laws don’t change, it’s gonna keep on happening.”

In an interview with CBS News, Javier Cazares, whose 9-year-old daughter Jacklyn was killed in the Robb Elementary School shooting last May, said that it’s been an “emotional rollercoaster” since the incident. Cazares has been an advocate for gun control legislation in his home state.

The Texas House Select Committee on Community Safety voted earlier this week to approve the “raise the age” gun bill, a legislation that would raise the minimum age to buy semiautomatic rifles in the state from 18 to 21. 

Even though the bill passed through the safety committee, the Republican-controlled state legislature has stalled the bill.

“We had a small victory. You know, it came out of committee,” Cazares told CBS News. “We’re still hopeful one day, you know, things will change, but in the meantime, we have to worry about another shooting.”

“And it’s a sad fact now. And we had to live through it, and I hate for somebody else to live through it, but if these laws don’t change it’s gonna keep on happening,” he added.

Cazares’ remarks come just ahead of the one-year anniversary of the school shooting that took the lives of 19 students and two teachers after a gunman opened fire inside a fourth-grade classroom. 

In the aftermath of the massacre, lawmakers wrote and passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act — the first major type of legislation to address gun violence in nearly 30 years. President Biden signed the bill into law last year.

As the Biden administration and lawmakers continue to debate the need for gun reform, the U.S. has already passed 200 mass shootings in 2023 alone. This includes a recent mass shooting where eight people, including three children, were killed when a gunman opened fire at a mall outside of the Dallas area.

When asked about Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) remarks on the issue, where he continued to push for more resourced for mental health, Cazares said “it’s really aggravating.”

“They know it’s a gun issue,” Cazares told CBS News. “In my opinion, they’re more worried about profits than anything else. If this law was in place one year ago, it could have saved my daughter’s life.”

“But as soon as [the shooter] turned 18 he bought [an AR-15 style rifle] legally and, well, you saw the aftermath. I don’t understand, you know, what is it going to take for these government officials to realize, yeah, it could be mental, it is, some of it is,” he continued. “The weapon is too easily accessible to 18-year-olds and it shouldn’t be.”

Source: The Hill

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