Parents of children killed in the Robb Elementary School shooting marched in Washington D.C. with a clear message on assault weapons: “Enough is enough.”
Javier and Gloria Cazares, the parents of Jacklyn; Kimberly and Felix Rubio, the parents of Alexandria “Lexi”; and Angel Garza, the father of Amerie, were among the speakers at Wednesday’s March Fourth Rally, which also included survivors of the Highland Park, Illinois mass shooting on July 4.
At the rally, survivors and community members demanded a ban on assault weapons as America grapples with mounting gun violence.
Kimberly Rubio said she has “what-ifs” surrounding the morning of May 24, before an 18-year-old gunman stormed the school and killed 19 fourth-grade students and two of their teachers.
But there was one main question she asked on Wednesday.
“There is one question that should be on the forefront of their minds: What if the gunman never had access to an assault weapon? I want that question to be the first thing to cross their mind in the morning, and the last thought they have before they go to bed each night,” she said.
“Because we are no longer asking for change, we are demanding it and we are angry as hell.”
The parents said “enough is enough” and “the gloves are off” when it comes to demanding change. They also painted a stark picture of life post-massacre.
Garza said every day at 3 a.m., he wakes up to find his wife crying and “wondering why she’s alive and our daughter isn’t.”
He added that his son doesn’t want to leave their sides.
“I’m up here because I’m begging you to make a change,” he said. “Nobody sits here and thinks about these things because it doesn’t happen to them.”
“I promise you, I promise you, you do not want this to happen to you.”
A father of a Robb Elementary student who survived the shooting said his son will never be the same.
“Our son is with us, but he is not the same young man that we were with early that morning before all of this happened,” he said. “And he will never be the same, no matter how much counseling, no matter how much therapy, he will never be the same.”
He said his son faces an uphill battle after he was shot in the back. His son had to wait 77 minutes for help, and during that time, he saw one of his classmates take her last breath.
He added that the “weapons of mass destruction” tore up the part of his son’s shoulder where the bullet exited.
The father also urged Texas lawmakers to stand beside them in demanding change amid gun violence.
A gun violence bill was signed into law since the mass shootings in Uvalde and a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, but it doesn’t address tougher restrictions like bans on assault-style weapons and hardened background checks.
The law will incrementally toughen requirements for young people to buy guns, deny firearms from more domestic abusers and help local authorities temporarily take weapons from people judged to be dangerous.
More than a week after President Joe Biden signed the bill into law, a gunman killed seven people at a July 4th celebration in Highland Park.