Another day in the United States of America, another horrific, deadly shooting. According to multiple reports, 20 people — 18 students and 2 teachers — were murdered by a student in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday.
Steve Kerr was at his wit’s end after the Laguna Woods shooting at a Taiwanese church in Southern California, the supermarket shooting in a historically Black neighborhood in Buffalo, and now the shooting in Uvalde, all of which took place in the last 10 days.
He was exhausted, but he was furious first, bordering on tears.
“We’ve had Asian churchgoers killed in Souther California and now we have children murdered at school,” Kerr said. “When are we going to do something? I’m so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there. I’m tired of the moments of silence. Enough!”
Gun violence is a sickening, morbid reality of living in the a country that values gun rights over the lives of innocent people. It is the only high-income country in the world with common cases of mass shootings.
The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation provides compelling data on that front, as do many other sources.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 17,094 gun violence deaths in the United States this year and 212 mass shootings, which are defined as shootings in which four or more people are shot or killed.
Kerr has long been an outspoken advocate for background checks, among other basic gun law proposals that are overwhelmingly supported by the American people, looked like he reached his breaking point on Tuesday. His father, Paul, was murdered at the American University of Beirut in 1984.
Giants manager Gabe Kapler also made a statement after the shooting.
Kerr has appeared exasperated in months past in having to discuss shooting after shooting with the knowledge that the United States Senate — and particularly Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — will not adopt widely supported changes.
The filibuster in the Senate has kept the Republican party — which has refused to take up those gun measures — able to prevent a vote. While the Democrats have a majority with the vote of Vice President Kamala Harris and could eliminate the filibuster, moderate West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin has refused to accede to that request.
Given all this context and the fact that nothing has been done, as we approach the 10 year anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting, Kerr was at his wit’s end.
Kerr continued and implored the Senate to think about how they would feel if the victims involved were members of their own families and called them out for what he believes is a desire to maintain power.
“There’s 50 senators right now who refuse to vote on HR 8 which is a background check rule that the House passed a couple years ago,” Kerr said. “It’s been sitting there for two years. There’s a reason they refuse to vote on it; to hold onto power.
“So I ask you, Mitch McConnell, I ask all of you senators who refuse to do anything about the violence and school shooting and supermarket shootings, I ask you, ‘Are you going to put your own desire for power ahead of the lives of our children and our elderly and our churchgoers?’ Because that’s what it looks like. I’m fed up.
“We can’t get numb to this… We are being held hostage by 50 senators in Washington who refuse to even put it to a vote despite what we as the American people want. They won’t vote on it because they want to hold onto their own power It’s pathetic! I’ve had enough.”