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"Grief overwhelms the soul": Politicians and celebrities react to Texas elementary school mass shooting

Steve Kerr decries Texas school shooting
Steve Kerr on Texas school shooting: "When are we going to do something?" 02:32

At least 19 students and two adult were killed during a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, Governor Greg Abbott said Tuesday. In the hours that followed, many high-profile figures — from politicians to celebrities — reacted to the tragic shooting on social media. 

"Lord, enough. Little children and their teacher. Stunned. Angry. Heartbroken," first lady Jill Biden tweeted.

President Biden spoke about the shooting Tuesday night and called for action, asking, "Why? Why are we willing to live with this carnage?"

Speaking Tuesday night at an event, Vice President Kamala Harris called for policy changes to help prevent such tragedies. 

"I would normally say in a moment like this — we would all say, naturally, that our hearts break. But our hearts keep getting broken," Harris said. "You know, I think — there are so many elected leaders in this room, you know what I'm talking about: Every time a tragedy like this happens, our hearts break — and our broken hearts are nothing compared to the broken hearts of those families. And yet it keeps happening."

"May God bless the memory of the victims, and in the words of Scripture, heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds," former President Barack Obama tweeted.

Former President Bill Clinton also shared a statement on Twitter saying his "heart breaks for the families who sent their children and loved ones off to school today at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, whose lives will never be the same."

"The time to act is now," he added.

Former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton tweeted: "Thoughts and prayers are not enough. After years of nothing else, we are becoming a nation of anguished screams. We simply need legislators willing to stop the scourge of gun violence in America that is murdering our children."

Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke, who previously served as a U.S. representative and ran for president in 2020, tweeted: "Our broken hearts are with Uvalde." He also retweeted University Healthcare's message about donating blood to help the victims of the shooting.

"Children went to school today and were killed in a mass shooting. Another American community shattered by gun violence," Sen. Cory Booker tweeted. "Another round of thoughts and prayers. They're hollow words if we continue to do nothing to end the violent, unrelenting, preventable shootings in our county."

Many called for more than thoughts and prayers — asking instead for action from the U.S. government.

In a searing speech on the Senate floor, Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy pleaded, "Why? Why are we here? If not to try to make sure that fewer schools and fewer communities go through what Sandy Hook has gone through. What Uvalde is going through."

"Grief overwhelms the soul. Children slaughtered. Lives extinguished. Parents' hearts wrenched. Incomprehensible," Sen. Mitt Romney tweeted. "I offer prayer and condolence but know that it is grossly inadequate. We must find answers."

"14 children and a teacher have been killed in a shooting at an elementary school in Texas," former RNC chair Michael Steele tweeted. "Again, another school shooting. Again, mothers and fathers will have lost a child. Again, politicians will offer their 'shock' and their 'prayers'. We will move on in a week. Again."

David Hogg, who was a student at Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School when a gunman opened fire in 2018, killing 17, also reacted to the shooting Tuesday.

"We need to do something. We know what we disagree on we need to focus on what we can and do it even if small," he tweeted. "No more debate or thoughts and prayers. We need bipartisan action."

Many celebrities also reacted to the tragedy. 

Actor Matthew McConaughey, who is from Uvalde, tweeted, "Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us."

"This is an epidemic we can control, and whichever side of the aisle we stand on, we all know we can do better. We must do better," he wrote.

Before game 4 of the NBA Western Conference finals Tuesday night, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr started his press conference by saying he "wasn't going to talk about basketball."

He instead focused on gun violence — the shooting in Texas, the Buffalo supermarket shooting and a church shooting in Southern California, just in the last few days. "When are we going to do something," Kerr said, banging on the table. "I'm so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there. I'm so sorry, excuse me, I'm sorry, I'm tired of the moments of silence. Enough!"

Kerr called on the Senate to pass H.R.8, which is also called the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021. It passed the House last March but has not yet been brought to the Senate floor for a vote. "We are being held hostage by 50 Senators in Washington who refuse to even put it to a vote," he raged. "It's pathetic!"

"My thoughts and prayers goes out to the families of love ones loss & injured at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX!" LeBron James tweeted. "Like when is enough enough man!!! These are kids and we keep putting them in harms way at school. Like seriously 'AT SCHOOL' where it's suppose to be the safest!"

"Has to stop man…… prayers to all the families in Texas," tweeted Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. 

"Prayers for the people in Texas man those are kids that were killed smh this world needs God smh," rapper Offset tweeted.

President Biden has ordered U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff through May 28.

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