'Uniquely American problem': Uvalde mom blasts lawmakers for 'making our schools look like prisons'

'Uniquely American problem': Uvalde mom blasts lawmakers for 'making our schools look like prisons'
Image via screengrab/MSNBC.

A parent and grandparent of slain Robb Elementary School students told MSNBC host Joy Reid on Wednesday's edition of The ReidOut that the pervasive epidemic of gun violence throughout the United States has profound effects on how survivors and family members of people killed in mass shootings live their lives.

Reid's guests also lamented that in the eighteen months since the massacre in Uvalde, Texas, lawmakers have done little to protect the public.

"What is the action that you expected to happen after Uvalde? What did you think would happen?" Reid asked.

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"I thought for sure there was going to be a change," said Berlinda Arreola, who lost her granddaughter Amerie Jo Garza in the attack. "We all thought that our loved ones were going to be important enough to make that change. After Sandy Hook and Santa Fe and Southern Springs and so many prior, we just thought that we would be that one, and we immediately took charge and began coming to Washington. Within a month's time, we started fighting for the children, and unfortunately, we haven't gotten anywhere yet."

Reid continued, "Yeah, I mean the one change that has happened in the state of Texas where you both live is that now there's a requirement that every school has to have an armed, armed security guard, but to me, that seems, you know, there were 317 police that responded to Uvalde and they did nothing. So, do you feel safer? Do you think that kids are safer with one armed security guard in every school?"

Kimberly Mata-Rubio, whose daughter Alexandria was among the nineteen children killed, replied, "Absolutely not. Guns have no place in a school. The obvious solution is a complete ban on assault weapons. And instead, we decide, 'Hey, it's this. Let's try this. And it's this.' We're just making our schools look like prisons. For what reason?"

Reid observed that "the thing is, is that the public overwhelmingly supports the idea of gun reform, of common sense gun reform, not anything crazy, not confiscation or anything like that, but just the idea of background checks, the idea of not having assault weapons being legal and on the streets. And it's just hard for me to put my, wrap my mind around the idea that people think people need assault weapons to just walk around. You were saying to me, Berlinda, before we started that, you know, you walk around now as a different human being, you know, having lost a family member, it's happened to you and it changes the way you live your life. You're afraid to go places that you would normally go."

READ MORE: New Uvalde body cam video shows cops vomiting and sobbing after looking inside the classroom

Arreola confirmed, "That's correct. It's anywhere you go. Anywhere a new foundation or wherever it goes to, you look for your exits and you know, you go to a parade and you're looking on the rooftops and seeing if there's anybody there. You know, you, you walk into a grocery store and you're looking around just making sure that somebody doesn't look suspicious or doesn't have, you know, a big long coat and what's underneath there. You know, it's just, it changes your whole way of thinking and it makes you more aware of your surroundings."

Reid recalled, "I mean and Kimberly, I was telling you, you know, I was just overseas. Never thought about it. Away for ten days in two different countries, one in Europe, one on the African continent. It never crossed my mind that I was not safe and that there would be guns somewhere and that I would be shot. And yet, children can't feel that way when they go to school and this is back to school."

Mata-Rubio added that gun violence is "a uniquely American problem."

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READ MORE: Biden calls for a 'new Congress' if this one refuses to stop gun violence

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