Fighting back tears Thursday, Jazmin Cazares remembered her sister Jackie who was murdered at Robb Elementary School last month along with 18 classmates and two teachers.
"I shouldn’t have to be here right now. I should be home watching a movie with my sister. I am here begging for you guys to do something, or to change something because the people that were supposed to keep her safe at school didn't. They failed,” said Cazares.
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Cazares pleaded with the members of the joint select committee on Youth Health and Safety and Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety for better school safety and protection, red flag laws, and tougher background checks.
She was one of many witnesses who testified Thursday, including Suzanna Hupp who is a survivor of the 1991 mass shooting at a Luby's restaurant in Killeen.
Hupp was with her parents when a gunman opened fire in a Luby’s restaurant. Her mom and dad were among the 23-people killed that day. Hupp believes people must be able to protect themselves.
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“I am known for protecting Second Amendment rights everywhere, but I got to tell you, I am no gun lover. I couldn’t care less about that hunk of metal right there except that I want that chance, that item that changes the odds,” said Hupp.
Firearm safety is one of the areas of focus for lawmakers to look at in the wake of the Uvalde massacre. They will also hear testimony on mental health, social media, police training, and school safety.
“I am sorry to the families of the victims who suffered an unimaginable loss, and I am sorry to the entire Uvalde community, and to every citizen in the state of Texas. That day in Uvalde the law enforcement community failed you and we must do better,” said North Richland Hills Police Chief Jimmy Perdue.
Chiefs from both rural and urban areas testified about what is needed, what could help, and what they are doing.
“We have reached out to every leadership team for all ISDs who represent Fort Worth to meet with them to find ways we can partner with them better, to make things happen to keep them safe,” said Fort Worth Police Chief Neil Noakes.
Lawmakers will eventually make recommendations that can be considered in the upcoming January legislative session.