May 31, 2022
A Statement from Brenda Victoria Castillo, President & CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC)
One week ago today, a predominately Latinx community was struck by the loss of innocent lives to preventable gun violence. This continuous bloodshed is enabled by the inaction and hypocrisy from right-wing elected officials.
“Pro-life” advocates have tirelessly fought to severely restrict or completely abolish abortion in numerous states across the country, including Oklahoma and Texas, under the guise of protecting “every human life.” Yet, Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Senator Ted Cruz do not view gun violence as a threat to human life. They claim that current gun reform discussions politicize human loss and distract from the underlying mental health issues that plague rural communities. However, Republicans consistently vote against legislation that would invest in expanded and essential mental health services.
The Uvalde massacre is being painted as an “unpredictable” event carried out by violent individuals suffering from mental illnesses. Yet, the 213 mass shootings documented in the first five months of this year paint a different picture. Politicians can no longer play electoral games with American lives. It is time for bold and expedient action.
The Uvalde shooter bought two assault rifles on his 18th birthday and shared his violent intentions on Facebook messenger before the attack. Still, preventative social media regulations have yet to pass Congress. The Background Check Expansion Act has been referred to the Senate twice after passing the house but continuously fails to receive a vote. With nearly 90% of Americans supporting common-sense gun reform legislation, it is perplexing and disappointing that Congress will not vote on any gun safety bills before their two-week recess.
Furthermore, for politicians concerned with protecting the sanctity of life, 192 House Republicans voted against a bill that would provide $2.8 million to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to increase the baby formula supply and prevent future shortages. Last Thursday, Senate Republicans also blocked a bill that would have created domestic terrorism offices within federal agencies. Time and time again, right-wing politicians make it clear that human life is not a genuine priority.
It is possible to pass targeted legislation expeditiously when politicians have the will to act. We cannot allow the normalization of daily shootings and mass casualties. Enough is enough. NHMC demands immediate action from Congress to combat the gun epidemic and protect American communities.
Yours in the Movement,
Brenda Victoria Castillo
President & CEO
National Hispanic Media Coalition