Orange County supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution declaring June as National Gun Violence Awareness Month — a move that was on their agenda before the mass shooting at a Texas elementary school, and which came up for discussion just as news of the tragedy was breaking.
“Unfortunately, just now we’ve received breaking news that there’s been yet another mass shooting — this time in Texas, where 14 students and a teacher are dead in a Texas elementary school,” Supervisor Katrina Foley said before the numbers were later updated to 18 students.
The shooting which left at least 19 students dead took place at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, about 85 miles west of San Antonio. The death toll also included two adults, authorities said. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said one of the two was a teacher. The attacker was killed by law enforcement.
“I brought this resolution forward because we’ve seen an increase in gun violence in the past few years,” Foley added — citing, among other local incidents, the alleged road-rage fatal shooting of 6-year-old Aiden Leos as his mother drove him to school in Yorba Linda.
“He was driving with his mom on the way to preschool and was shot in the back in his car seat,” Foley said.
Foley also noted the mass shooting in Orange last year that killed four, including 9-year-old Matthew Farias, and to the shooting this month at a Laguna Woods church that killed a physician.
“We may differ on the remedies, but I know each of us have had enough,” Foley said. “We should be feeling we’re safe to go to school, to go to our churches, to just be on the freeway driving to school.”
Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett added, “We just have too many of these unfortunate, mass tragic shootings in our nation and something has to be done.”
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement:
“The children of Uvalde, Texas, deserve more than thoughts and they deserve more than prayers. They deserve to live to celebrate birthdays and pool parties and family camping trips. They deserve to grow old, old enough to have wrinkles and have their own children and a lifetime of memories made during a life well lived.”
Spitzer went on to say: “The 18 children gunned down today at their Texas elementary school will have none of those things. Their lives are lives inexplicably and abruptly interrupted. They will be forever young, robbed of the joys of childhood at the hands of pure evil.
“We must do better. Congress must take immediate action to address the serious mental health needs of our nation, especially those who fit the well-documented profile of active shooters. We need a strong unified federal response and we need it now. Our children and their childhoods depend on it.”