Texas

Despite outrage over the school shooting, Uvalde residents voted to keep the state Republican Party in power.

From the Texas Newsroom:

After the mass shooting at Uvalde Elementary School in May, calls for gun law reform came to a head as outraged Texans accused state leaders and the gun policies they advocate of being partially responsible for the massacre.

On Tuesday, however, outrage that still exists for some in the small community didn’t show in the polls as Republican incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott defeated Democratic rival Beto O’Rourke in Uwalde County. The county also voted overwhelmingly to keep Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton, both Republicans.

The results angered some parents who lost children on the day an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two schoolteachers at Robb’s elementary school. The shooter was at the school for over an hour before law enforcement clashed and finally shot him.

“I wanted to send a message, but the state of Texas sent me a message instead: Killing my daughter wasn’t enough. Just know you fucked the wrong mom.” tweeted Kimberly Mata-Rubio, whose daughter Lexi was killed in a shootout. “It won’t end tonight. I will fight until I have nothing to give. Lexi’s legacy will change.”

Brett Cross, uncle and guardian of Uzia Garcia, who died in the shootout, joined Mata-Rubio in vowing to keep pressuring elected officials. Cross was Garcia’s uncle and guardian, but refers to him as his son.

“Upset? Yes. Will we stop fighting completely [not]. It just lit an even bigger fire under our asses. What disappointed me the most is that Uwalde County voted for Abbott,” he said. tweetedand included a photo with the hashtag #Uvaldestrong upside down.

Henry Flores, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus at St. Mary’s School of Law in San Antonio, said that while the shooting was terrible, he was not surprised by the results at Uvald.

“Given his conservative nature, it makes sense that they would support Abbott,” he said. “On the issue of gun control, you get into rural areas. [and] the issue of gun control itself becomes fuzzy. Many people in the countryside are gun owners. And the slightest suspicion that someone is going to make a law to take away their weapons and they will turn against you.

Republican-backed Uvalde is no anomaly. In 2018, in the last midterm elections, voters supported U.S. Senator Ted Cruz over O’Rourke by about 10 percentage points. Abbott did even more that year, winning the county by over 20 percentage points. In 2020, former President Donald Trump won the county by over 20 percentage points.

Flores said the outrage in Uvalda was not only about gun laws, but also about the unfortunate law enforcement response to the shooting. Subsequent investigations revealed that hundreds of police officers waited more than an hour to confront the shooter, while children in the 4th grade classroom where he was hiding called 911, Texas Public Radio reported. More than 370 law enforcement officers were on the scene, including 150 U.S. Border Patrol agents, 91 Texas Department of Public Safety officers, 25 Uvalde police officers, 16 county sheriff’s deputies, and five Uvalde Consolidated Independent officers, according to a Texas House report. School district.

“If you look at the families complaining about the way law enforcement covered this, they wanted them to come in there and shoot and take this guy away before they did,” Flores said. “They didn’t want him to be arrested alive. They complain that they didn’t take action sooner.”

Although they had hoped for different results on Tuesday, relatives and friends of the victims achieved what they considered a partial victory earlier this year. Last month, Uwalde School District officials announced a police suspension and that two senior officials were placed on administrative leave.

And in August, School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo was fired for his part in the response.



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