Governor Hochul Addresses Deadly Mass Shooting at Texas Elementary School
A rush transcript of the Governor’s remarks is available below:
In light of what happened yesterday in Texas, you get to a point where you feel there are no words left. But those people deserve our words, so we will muster up the courage to just call out what we just experienced as a nation once again. The outrage, the disgust, the sick feeling in our stomachs as Americans, as New Yorkers, and as parents. But we will never become immune to this or desensitized to it. Because that is when we start losing the battle. We must harness that outrage, and that anger, and that disgust, that there could be someone with such wanton evil in their heart, that they would acquire an AR-15, go to a schoolyard after shooting their own grandmother, and opening up on innocent children and teachers.
It does not happen in other countries. Rarely. It happens in a nation that seems to revere the rights of gun owners, and the ability to possess guns, over the right of children to stay alive, or to go to a school without fear of having to duck or run. That also has a long-term effect on the psyche of the children, not just to experience that, but our children all across this nation, whose parents hugged them a little bit tighter this morning, as they packed them off to school, with the hope that they will see them at the end of the day. The children of today have been through so much. They don’t deserve that. They are innocent.
They look to adults to be responsible. They look to us to protect them, and they have the right to be protected by the adults who govern this country. Whether it’s in Congress, where there has been too long an abdication of responsibility. And if we couldn’t get background checks after Sandy Hook, the slaughter of first graders, simply saying, “Can people have one more requirement before they can walk in and purchase a gun, that we finally find out, if what they’re talking about on social media, what their neighbors have observed, what record they may have?” We can’t even afford that background, before someone can acquire these weapons? Because we are doing what we can here in the State of New York. We have laws that we are proud of, although I’ll be talking about ways we want to enhance them. But as long as the illegal guns are out there somewhere, they find their ways to the streets of New York as well.
That is why we stood up, not just this Interstate Task Force where we share information within our boundaries, this is why I said, “No, these guns are coming from other states. Let’s get them at the table.” And so we have a number of successes, we have more work to do. And I’ll talk about some of our successes. But just this morning, as we’re all dealing with the pain, I’m asking myself as Governor, “Am I supposed to just leave all the flags at half-mast?” They’re still at half-mast from Buffalo.
No, I don’t want to. So we harness this anger. We talked about what we can do. We work with our legislative leaders, how we protect people. Because right now we are 500 feet from a preschool. We’re a thousand feet from Columbia High School. To protect everyone in the state, we convened an emergency meeting this morning of the state.
And I said, “Are we doing everything possible?” And I said, I want state police patrols visiting our schools, doing daily check-ins, every single day from today until the end of the school year. Because I want parents who have enough to worry about in their daily lives, the cost of gas at the pump, the cost of the groceries. Maybe putting aside a little money for college tuition. They have enough to worry about. Let them know that the State Police and their local law enforcement are going to be there to protect them, both uniformed and plain-clothes officers. But let’s talk about getting these weapons off our streets.