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Statements from local leaders on the Robb Elementary School shooting


Today I reflected on these words: “Respond to your children with love in the worst moments, their broken moments, their angry moments, their selfish moments, their frustrating moments, their inconvenient moments, because it is in their most unlovable human moments that they most need to feel love” (L.R. Knost). In the midst of what feels like the darkest time, remember to take a moment to hug your children. Tell them that they are loved and that you are there for them in such difficult times. Our children and youth need a calm and safe space with caring adults. Let us not forget the importance of community, and the African proverb that speaks to the importance of the village.

Charmaine L. Arthur,
CEO, Freedom House


The Chamber and Greater Boston are mourning with the families and communities of Uvalde, Texas. To see and live through this violence again and again in this country is horrific and traumatizing. We pray for the victims, their loved ones, and their community. And we pray also that those who have the power, including policymakers, will find the path to creating a nation where every child and every teacher will attend their school knowing that their present and future will not be stolen.

James E. Rooney,
President & CEO, Greater Boston
Chamber of Commerce


Our hearts are broken as we continue to grieve and mourn the children, mothers, aunts, neighbors and friends whose lives were taken in yet another mass shooting, that took place in Uvalde, Texas yesterday afternoon. All of us at the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the victims.

We beg of our leaders that when the inevitable discussion turns to why this happened — again — that yes, we talk about guns and how they are too easy to come by, but we must go beyond that. Why are so many young men reaching for guns in the first place? If we don’t answer that question, all the gun policies in the world won’t prevent the next tragedy. It pains us that we are back here again, talking about another mass murder at a school. Intervention and healing need to take place.

Louis D. Brown,
Peace Initiative


Nineteen children and two adults slaughtered by a gunman in a Texas elementary school. Ten people massacred in a Buffalo, New York grocery store. My heart is broken, and I weep and pray for the families and communities that have suffered these unimaginable tragedies. But prayers without action do not protect our children and our communities. Action must come from all of us—politicians, business leaders, civic organizations and individuals. As Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr put it last night: “When are we going to do something?”

Kevin Hayden,
Suffolk County District Attorney


Our nation needs to take bold and immediate action to control the flow of firearms in our society.

The 18-year-old who law enforcement authorities say was responsible for the shooting in Uvalde legally purchased two firearms. The U.S. Senate, doing the bidding of the very gun lobbyists meeting this week in Houston, has blocked attempts to expand the background check system and take other reasonable steps. The right-wing majority of the U.S. Supreme Court appears to be on the verge of further weakening gun laws across the country, including those on the books in states such as Massachusetts.

Staying silent is not an option. Growing numb to the violence is not an option. Our union is committed to whatever collective action is necessary to help make our communities safe. The MTA stands with educators across the nation in demanding better for our students, for our communities, and for all who dedicate their lives to the common good.

Merrie Najimy,
President, Massachusetts Teachers Association