Texas

Uwalde families continue fighting for gun reform as Abbott enters new term as governor

UVALDE As Austin prepares for Gov. Greg Abbott’s inauguration, the families of Robb’s elementary school victims prepare on their own.

“We will never accept this and we will never be able to be where we were before May 24,” said Berlinda Arreola, Ameri Jo Garza’s grandmother.

“It’s been an eternity since we last saw our kids,” said Kim Rubio, mom of Lexi Rubio.

The days and weeks go on, but for Arreola, Rubio, and Gloria Cazares, the old adage is wrong; time does not heal all wounds.

“I’m just tired of fighting and hoping that people will try to understand you or at least try to put themselves in your place,” said Cazares, mother of Jackie Cazares.

It has been almost 8 months since a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb’s elementary school.

“Think like a man, not like a politician when it comes to massacres like this because there is no going back,” Arreola said.

Along with the families of 21 other victims, the three fought to change gun laws. Their main goal is to raise the age for buying an assault rifle from 18 to 21.

“The number one priority for us right now is definitely the age limit,” Arreola said.

“I also just hope that people realize that if they were 21, then these would not be our children. It would be one of yours,” Rubio said.

Their calls for change have taken them to our nation’s capital, Austin, and to the streets of Uvalde.

Rubio says that with a new legislative session and the same governor in office who hasn’t changed gun laws before, their strategy is changing.

“We have to take a step back and try to reach out to voters, share our story and let them know that it could be their story if they don’t help us,” Rubio said.

They will continue to fight for change not only at the state level, but also at the federal level.

They know this battle will be hard, but they say it’s necessary to protect the children.

“We talk a lot about strategy, but I never want to lose that we are only interested in saving children,” Rubio said. “Just protecting the kids.”

“We are not going to stop,” Casares said. “And I think our children support us.”

They mentioned that they would like the age to purchase assault weapons to be raised to 21.

Return to August, Gov. Abbott said it was unconstitutional. However, nine states made it so that no one under the age of 21 could.

Florida raised the minimum age to buy guns a month after a gunman killed 17 people at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School.

Illinois is working on ban on assault weapons.

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