The nation is grieving for the 19 students and two teachers who were killed in a shooting massacre at a Texas elementary school Tuesday.
Families with kids at Robb Elementary School in the majority-Latino city of Uvalde spent the hours after the rampage at a local civic center, trying to figure out if their loved ones were among the dead, as activists pleaded for gun reform in a country that’s long neglected to seriously consider it.
Tuesday’s mass shooting in Uvalde is now America’s most deadly so far this year, and the worst school shooting since a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012.
President Joe Biden, growing emotional in an evening address after the shooting, asked people to consider why mass shootings are such a frequent American occurrence, adding, “Where in God’s name is our backbone?” The gunman in the Uvalde shooting was an 18-year-old who purchased the weapon used in the slayings almost immediately after his birthday this month, according to the Washington Post.
“I’m furious that these shootings continue. These children are innocent. Rifles should not be easily available to all,” Lydia Martinez Delgado, the aunt of Eva Mireles, a fourth-grade teacher who was killed in Tuesday’s shooting, told ABC News. “This is my hometown, a small community of less than 20,000. I never imagined this would happen to especially to loved ones.”
If you’re looking to take action or help, here are your options:
- Share your thoughts on Tuesday’s shooting in Uvalde and gun reform with your elected representatives in Congress. You can find both your U.S. representative and your U.S. senators online, as well as their contact information. If you happen to agree with the Bipartisan Background Checks Act or the Enhanced Background Checks Act, you can also use this template from the National Education Association, a labor union, to contact your senators.
- Donate to a fundraiser for Victims First, which describes itself as a “network of families of the deceased and survivors from over two decades of previous mass shootings.” The organization had raised more than $540,000 on its GoFundMe campaign as of Wednesday morning, stating: “100% of what is collected goes DIRECTLY to the victim base so the victims’ families and those wounded/injured are protected from fraud and exploitation.” Alternatively, you can look for other verified GoFundMe fundraisers related to the shootings here.
- If you’re local, South Texas Blood and Tissue plans to have an emergency blood drive Wednesday at the Herby Ham Activity Center in Uvalde, though you can find other donor rooms and blood drives on the South Texas Blood and Tissue website. University Health in San Antonio is also asking people to consider donating blood.
- If you’re an attorney who’s licensed in Texas, contact the San Antonio Legal Services Association to help victims’ family members meet their legal needs pro bono.
- The city of Uvalde is accepting donations for families’ medical expenses, if you’re able to mail a check to: City of Uvalde, P.O. Box 799, Uvalde, Texas 78802.