'We are being held hostage': NBA Coach Steve Kerr blasts Senate Republicans for blocking gun control

'We are being held hostage': NBA Coach Steve Kerr blasts Senate Republicans for blocking gun control
Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr (screengrab/@CaseyPrattABC7/Twitter).

The nation is once again reeling in the wake of a mass shooting at an elementary school, this time in Texas, where a gunman slaughtered at least 18 students and three teachers. There have been more than 200 such massacres so far this year. Tuesday's was the deadliest. Adding insult to injury is that last year, The Lone Star State enacted a law allowing residents to carry a firearm without a permit or basic training.

Consensus is rare in the modern United States. But nearly all Americans agree that there should be reasonable regulations on guns, including comprehensive background checks – a point that Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr drove home in an emotional plea to the 50 Republicans in the Senate who have stood in the way of sensible gun control.

"Any basketball questions don't matter. Fourteen children were killed 400 miles from here. And a teacher. In the last ten days, we have had elderly Black people killed in a supermarket in Buffalo. We've had Asian churchgoers killed in Southern California and now we have children at school. When are we going to do something?" Kerr exclaimed at a press conference ahead of his team's conference game against the Dallas Mavericks. "I'm tired. I'm so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there. I'm tired of the moments of silence. Enough. There's 50 Senators right now who refuse to vote on [House Resolution 8], a background check rule the House [of Representatives] passed a couple years ago. It's been sitting there for two years. And there's a reason they won't vote on it – to hold onto power."

Kerr next Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and "all the Senators who refuse to do anything about the violence and school shootings and supermarket shootings" if they are "going to let their own desire for power ahead of the lives of children and our elderly and our churchgoers? Because that's what it looks like."

As the presser closed, Kerr said that he is "fed up" and had "had enough."

He then called upon "every person here, every person listening to this to think about your own child or grandchild or mother or father, sister, brother. How would you feel if this happened to you today? We can't get numb to this. We can't read about this and go, 'oh well let's have a moment of silence.' That's what we're gonna do. We're gonna go play a basketball game. And 50 Senators in Washington are gonna hold us hostage. Ninety percent of Americans regardless of political party want background checks, universal background checks. Ninety percent of us!"

Kerr channeled the familiar collective rage that will likely go unresolved because of right-wing loyalty to the powerful gun lobby.

"We are being held hostage by 50 Senators in Washington who refuse to even put it to a vote despite what we the American people want. They won't vote on it because they want to hold onto their own power. It's pathetic," he concluded. "I've had enough."

Watch below via ABC7's Casey Pratt:


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