GOP Rep for Uvalde: Today Not the Day to Talk Gun Reform

US Rep. Tony Gonzales said he's 'happy to debate' policy another time
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2022 10:55 AM CDT
GOP Rep for Uvalde: Today Not the Day to Debate Gun Control
People pray at the Sacred Heart church on Tuesday evening in Uvalde, Texas, after a gunman earlier in the day entered Robb Elementary School and killed multiple children and adults.   (William Luther/The San Antonio Express-News via AP)

(Newser) – Uvalde, Texas, is represented by US Rep. Tony Gonzales, and the Republican joined CBS Mornings on Wednesday to talk about the horrors that unfolded there Tuesday. "It was such a horrific scene that many of the children could not be identified and they had to use DNA and other avenues to identify children," he said. "Imagine you're a parent and you can't even identify your child. So this is what our community is dealing with. I am a parent, I'm a father of six, and it hit me pretty hard yesterday." Gayle King was quick to push Gonzales on his own legislative history, pointing out that he has voted against two gun reform bills, including one that called for expanded background checks. She asked him if he was reconsidering his stance.

He said that today is not the time to debate gun control. "I'm happy to debate policy, not today. I mean, today, we, my community is hurting. You know, politicians like to divide us. Leaders unite us and we need to be united right now as Americans because what happened in Uvalde, Texas, can happen anywhere, and we have to be united in protecting our children against that." King said her thoughts were also with the survivors and victims, but she pushed him again, saying no one is doing anything. "If not now to debate it, [to] discuss it," when?

Gonzales responded by saying he grew up some 30 miles away. "This is home. These people I know, these are my community. I represent them. I love them. Right now, we need love." King retorted, "We need change." He went on to discuss the need for mental health facilities. In a subsequent interview with King, Sandy Hook parent Nelba Marquez-Greene, whose daughter Ana Grace was killed, took issue with Gonzales' comments: "He talked about faith and love as if ... we had these extremes: faith and love or action. Action is faith. Action is love." Newsweek notes that Gonzales initially responded to news of the shooting with a tweet that included a Bible verse and got a flurry of tweets in response that surfaced his previous comments on voting against gun control measures. (Read more Uvalde mass shooting stories.)

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