Law enforcement officers speak together outside of Robb Elementary School following the mass shooting on May 24 in Uvalde, Texas. (Brandon Bell | Getty Images)
WASHINGTON – Survivors of two horrific mass shootings in New York and Texas will appear before the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee on Wednesday to relate their experiences with gun violence.
The witnesses will include fourth grader Miah Cerrillo of Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two adults were gunned down at Robb Elementary School on May 24. Her harrowing story of having to cover herself in her friend’s blood in order to appear dead to the 18-year-old gunman has gripped lawmakers and Americans.
Felix and Kimberly Rubio, parents of Lexi Rubio, a 10-year-old student at Robb Elementary School who was killed in the mass shooting, will also speak before lawmakers.
Zeneta Everhart, a survivor of a mass shooting on May 14 by a white supremacist in Buffalo, New York, will also testify. Everhart was at a supermarket in a predominantly Black neighborhood with her son, Zaire Goodman, who was shot in the neck.
The hearing at 10 a.m. will be live-streamed here.
“Our hearing will examine the terrible impact of gun violence and the urgent need to rein in the weapons of war used to perpetrate these crimes,” Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, said in a statement.
“It is my hope that all my colleagues will listen with an open heart as gun violence survivors and loved ones recount one of the darkest days of their lives,” Maloney said. “This hearing is ultimately about saving lives, and I hope it will galvanize my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass legislation to do just that.”
Firearm-related injuries are now the leading cause of death for children and adolescents in the United States, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.
The House Judiciary Committee held an emergency meeting on Thursday to mark up a legislative package that contains eight bills related to gun control. President Joe Biden also addressed the nation late Thursday and urged Congress to move forward on passing gun control legislation.
The hearing will be broken into two panels of witnesses. The first panel includes survivors and victims of gun violence, and the second panel will be made up of gun safety advocates, experts and law enforcement.
The only pediatrician in Uvalde, Dr. Roy Guerrero, who treated the school shooting victims, will testify.
The second panel will include Greg Jackson Jr., the executive director of the Community Justice Action Fund, which advocates to end gun violence; Joseph Gramaglia, a police commissioner in Buffalo; Becky Pringle, the president of the National Education Association, a labor union representing public school teachers and staff; and Nick Suplina, the senior vice president for law and policy at Everytown for Gun Safety, an organization that advocates for gun control formed a year after the Sandy Hook mass school shooting.
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