Meghan Markle visits Texas shooting memorial as community and leaders call for gun reform


Meghan Markle places flowers as she mourns at a makeshift memorial outside Uvalde County Courthouse in Uvalde, Texas, on May 26, 2022. (AFP via Getty Images)
Meghan Markle places flowers as she mourns at a makeshift memorial outside Uvalde County Courthouse in Uvalde, Texas, on May 26, 2022. (AFP via Getty Images)
Grief at the massacre of 19 children at the elementary school in Texas spilled into confrontation, as angry questions mounted over gun control -- and whether this latest tragedy could have been prevented.

Meghan Markle made a surprise visit to the memorial outside the Uvalde County Courthouse, not far from Robb Elementary School, placing white roses on Uziyah Garcia’s white cross. 10 year-old Garcia was the youngest victim of the shooting.

The tight-knit Latino community of Uvalde on May 24 became the site of the worst school shooting in a decade, committed by an 18-year-old armed with a legally bought assault rifle.

A spokesperson for Meghan confirmed the duchess’s visit, saying that she came “in a personal capacity as a mother, to offer her condolences and support in person to a community experiencing unimaginable grief.”

The Uvalde tragedy is the latest mass shooting to spark outcry and calls for tighter gun restrictions. In the past year, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has signed a number of laws which expanded people’s gun rights. One of the laws allows people to legally carry handguns without needing a license.

In 2022 alone, 27 school shootings have occurred in the US.

US and international leaders has spoken up against the gun laws. Former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke confronted Governor Abbott in a press conference about the Uvalde shooting. “Gov. Abbott, I have to say something,” O’Rourke said. “The time to stop the next shooting is right now and you are doing nothing,” O’Rourke told Abbott. “Someone has to stand up for the children of this state or they will continue to be killed.”

Steve Kerr, coach of US basketball team the Golden State Warriors delivered an impassioned speech at a pre-game press conference, right after the shooting. “I’m not going to talk about basketball…. When are we going to do something? I’m tired. I’m so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there.

“We can’t get numb to this,” he continued. “We can’t sit here and just read about it and go, well, let’s have a moment of silence.”

Former President of the United States Barack Obama also shared a strong message calling for action. “Nearly ten years after Sandy Hook – and ten days after Buffalo – our country is paralyzed, not by fear, but by a gun lobby and a political party that have shown no willingness to act in any way that might help prevent those tragedies,” he shared on social media.


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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who is currently in the US, appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on the day of the shooting. She was asked about the New Zealand’s own response to the tragic Christchurch mosque terrorist attack on 15 March 2019, which saw a ban on military style semi-automatic firearms.

“We saw something that wasn’t right and we acted on it, and I can only speak to that experience,” she said. “When we saw something like that happen, everyone said never again, and so it was incumbent on us as politicians to respond to that.

“Now, we have legitimate needs for guns in our country, for things like pest control and to protect our biodiversity – but you don’t need a military-style semi-automatic to do that.”

Newly appointed Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese also spoke up about the “astrocity” calling on US politicians to “stand up and actually change the laws in the United States.”



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