Uvalde school shooting reignites gun control debate

One week ago, 19 children and two teachers were killed inside of Robb Elementary.

SAN ANTONIO – A week after the deadly shooting inside Robb Elementary school left 19 students and two teachers dead, the debate over gun control and reform has reignited.

U.S. House lawmakers passed two gun control measures last year, but the Senate has yet to vote on either one.

There are questions about whether the recent increase in mass shootings comes back to the assault weapons ban.

“How can they let this 18-year-old purchase a gun, you know? But at the same time, I’m very sad for the whole community,” Frances Estrada said as she held onto her 7-year-old granddaughter.

“We can’t just talk about how we’re going to move forward as a community, as a nation, as a country. This can’t happen again. We’ve got to stop,” Natalia President said as she visited a memorial.

Calls for change and new regulations come after 21 lives were taken inside Robb Elementary by an 18-year-old with an AR-15-style rifle.

“The question is, ‘Do we allow for this kind of weapon to be sold?’ And the answer is whatever policymakers come up with over time,” said Jon Taylor, UTSA professor and chair of the Department of Political Science and Geography.

In light of this latest school shooting, Taylor says the issue of preventing the next isn’t as simple as banning a type of weapon.

“Are we going to be able to prevent the next mass assault? Hopefully, but that’s going to require more than just banning these kinds of weapons because the ban alone is not going to be enough,” Taylor said.

From 1994 until 2004, the U.S. had an assault weapons ban. It prohibited semi-automatic weapons from being manufactured or sold to civilians and banned magazines that held more than 10 rounds.

“The data suggests that fatalities were less likely during the gun ban, during the assault rifle ban. However, other studies, including the RAND Corporation, did a study which it’s inconclusive,” Taylor said.

He says chances are slim of the likelihood of a similar ban or any substantial gun policy changes being enacted during today’s political climate.

“There are very few people on both sides at this point in Congress, U.S. House, especially, who are willing to engage in some sort of compromise,” Taylor said.

Taylor said future gun laws could depend on the outcome of the November election and who would control the House and Senate.


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About the Authors

Leigh Waldman is an investigative reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.

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