Arizona senator and former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly said he and his wife are heartbroken by a tragic school shooting in Texas.
At least 19 children and two adults died in a shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday (May 24), The New York Times reported Wednesday (May 25). The incident at Robb Elementary School is the deadliest such event in the United States since the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Conn.
"I know how helpless a person can feel when their family is impacted in this way. I know that every parent whose kid came home from school today is hugging them tighter," Kelly (D-Ariz.) wrote Tuesday on Twitter.
Kelly and his wife, Gabrielle Giffords, are staunch gun control advocates. Giffords, a former Arizona congresswoman, was shot in the head while meeting with constituents outside a Tucson supermarket on Jan. 8, 2011.
Giffords recovered, even managing to attend Kelly's last-ever launch on space shuttle mission STS-134 three months later on April 19, 2011. But she later stepped down from politics to focus on her health and rehabilitation.
Gabby and I are heartbroken for the Texas families who just had their lives forever devastated by gun violence. I know how helpless a person can feel when their family is impacted in this way. I know that every parent whose kid came home from school today is hugging them tighter.May 24, 2022
In his tweet thread, Kelly said that Americans have come to expect their federal government will "do nothing" after seeing similar deadly mass shootings over the years.
"Politicians in Washington spend countless hours fighting about nothing, but when it comes time to act on an issue that is unique to the United States and demands a response, they find a million reasons not to," Kelly said.
Pledging to spur "action from Washington," Kelly said it's possible to pass "commonsense reforms" to address gun violence that are respected "across the political spectrum."
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) is expected to attend the National Rifle Association's annual meeting on Friday (May 27) in a speaking engagement booked long before the deadly shooting. In an interview that aired on NBC late Tuesday, Cruz called the shooting "yet another unspeakable crime."