May 31, 2022
Written by Maryam Shahzad
Local leaders gathered for a vigil Friday in the wake of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
19 children and two adults were killed after an 18-year-old gunman opened fire in the school last Tuesday. 10 days prior, a gunman in Buffalo, New York killed 10 people at a grocery store in a predominantly Black neighborhood.
“We began the week standing with Buffalo, New York and here we are ending the week standing with the people of Uvalde, Texas,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich at the Grey Courthouse Office Building in Rockville. “It’s been a week of unspeakable violence and guns have played, obviously, a major role in this.”
“I am tired of thoughts and prayers,” said Rockville Mayor Bridget Newton. “We are all so, so tired of thoughts and prayers.”
“We’ve got to do everything we can do to get Congress to do the right thing,” Elrich said.
“This is not the world that I want my kids to grow up into, and it doesn’t have to be,” County Council President Gabe Albornoz said.
“We have to turn the moment of silence that we will all participate in momentarily — into a movement.”
“We do have to make a choice of whether or not we value our children more than we value our guns,” said Councilmember Andrew Friedson. “Whether we value our neighbors more than we value this idea of the frontier, this idea of personal protection.”
Maryland Sen. Cheryl Kagan noted legislation was passed banning ghost guns in the state. But, borders are porous, she said.
“We need Congress to act and they need to act now to save lives, keep our neighborhoods safe and keep our kids safe,” Kagan said.
“We have to keep chipping away gradually,” said Mindy Landau, who co-founded the Montgomery County Chapter of Brady United Against Gun Violence.
“We’re not going to be able to solve all our problems with one law or one strategy, but we’ve got to keep on it and keep on the fight and don’t lose hope.”