Texas State Senator says Republicans are 'killing babies' with their gun legislation

On Don Lemon Tonight Thursday, Texas State Senator Roland Gutierrez joined Lemon in Uvalde, Texas, where he spoke about the massacre that left 19 children dead after a gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School on Tuesday. Gutierrez, a Democrat, put the blame squarely on his GOP colleagues, who routinely block legislation reforming gun laws.

“There’s no way in the world that an 18-year-old kid should access a militarized weapon like it happened in this situation,” Gutierrez said, “and I put that on people who are in power in Texas and it’s the Republican Party. They control the House, they control the Senate and they control the governor’s seat.”

Gutierrez questioned if Republicans block gun control legislation because of the National Rifle Association, which donates millions of dollars a year, mostly to Republicans.

“I don’t know what fascination Republicans have with the guns, or with the NRA, or with the money,” Gutierrez said. “But this is what they do session after session, and they are killing babies in our country.”

And Gutierrez isn’t buying the narrative pushed by some in the GOP, that this is a mental health issue, not a gun issue.

“Yeah, it was a sick, mentally ill young man. I get it,” Gutierrez said. “But at the end of the day — and yeah, we certainly need to do more about mental health in our state — but at the end of the day, if he didn’t have access to militarized weapons that you see in Afghanistan, this wouldn’t have happened.”

Video transcript

RONALD GUTIERREZ: There's no way in the world that an 18-year-old kid should access a militarized weapon like it happened in this situation. And I put that on people that are in power in Texas. And it's the Republican Party. They control the House. They control the Senate. And they control the governor's seat.

KYLIE MAR: Texas State Senator Roland Gutierrez joined Don Lemon tonight in Uvalde, Texas, Thursday, where he spoke about the school shooting there on Tuesday that left 19 children dead. Gutierrez put the blame for the shooting squarely on the GOP who blocked debate on a bill that included gun policy earlier in the day, just as they had done late last year after a school shooting in Michigan. Gutierrez wondered if Republicans block gun legislation because of the NRA and money.

RONALD GUTIERREZ: I don't know what fascination Republicans have with the guns, or with the NRA, or with the money. But this is what they do session after session. And they are killing-- they are killing babies in our country.

KYLIE MAR: And Gutierrez isn't buying the Republican talking point that this is a mental health issue and not a gun issue.

RONALD GUTIERREZ: Yeah, it was the sick, mentally-ill young man. I get it. And yeah, we certainly need to do more about mental health in our state. But at the end of the day, if he didn't have access to militarized weapons that you see in Afghanistan, this wouldn't have happened.

KYLIE MAR: Gutierrez also spoke about visiting with the grieving citizens of Uvalde, and reiterated that what happened is the direct result of actions by lawmakers.

RONALD GUTIERREZ: They don't want to talk to me. They don't want to talk to you. They're just in shock. They're destroyed. They're destroyed. And the decisions that policymakers have made over the course of the last several years have culminated in this.

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