“It is my hope that all my colleagues will listen with an open heart as gun violence survivors and loved ones recount one of the darkest days of their lives,” stated Rep. Carolyn Maloney in a press release. “This hearing is ultimately about saving lives, and I hope it will galvanize my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass legislation to do just that.”
The dais includes Zeneta Everhart, 40, mother of Zaire Goodman, 20, a young man who survived a gunman’s bullet through the throat during the Buffalo mass shooting on May 14.
Felix and Kimberly Rubio are also scheduled to testify. Their daughter Alexandria “Lexi” Aniyah Rubio, 10, was shot to death by the Uvalde school shooter.
Miah Cerillo, 11, will also testify to her harrowing experience at Robb Elementary during the massacre. Cerillo managed to survive by smearing the blood of one of her dead classmates all over her body and playing dead.
Other speakers include Roy Guerrero, the Uvalde pediatrician who helped treat patients in the aftermath of the massacre, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia, and National Education Association President Becky Pringle.
Tensions between pro-gun and anti-gun members of Congress are reaching a boiling point in Washington as the mass violence in Buffalo and Uvalde has given renewed impetus to anti-gun legislation.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell recently commented on the issue, stating, “Mental illness and school safety are what we need to target,” adding that any legislative response to recent mass violence should be “something consistent with the Second Amendment.”
Bipartisan negotiations in the Senate are reportedly making progress in discussing expanding access to mental health services and strengthening school security, according to CNN.
There is a Republican supporting the idea of Congress encouraging state legislatures to enact red flag laws by offering federal taxpayer dollars in the form of grants.
The proposal is being devised by Senators Lindsey Graham and Richard Blumenthal. The grants would be issued to law enforcement agencies to “hire and consult with mental health professionals to better determine which cases need to be acted upon.”