The shooter “shot my teacher, he said good night to my teacher and he shot her in the head. Then he shot some of my classmates and the blackboard,” testified Miah Cerrillo, 11, during a hearing on the regulation of these weapons in the United States.
“When I got close to the backpacks, he shot my friend who was right next to me and I thought he was going to come back into the room,” she said in comments broadcast by video.
“So I took some blood and smeared it all over myself…I was quiet, then I grabbed my teacher’s phone and called (the emergency number) 911.”
Miah Cerrillo assured that she no longer felt safe at school.
“I don’t want this to happen again,” she implored.
Present at the hearing, his father Miguel Cerrillo assured that Miah was “no longer the same little girl he used to play with”.
“Schools are no longer safe, something really has to change,” he lamented, in tears.
– “Stubbornness” or “passivity” –
The American Congress, which is debating a limited framework for firearms, also heard the testimony of Roy Guerrero, a pediatrician from Uvalde, who described the bodies of children “pulverized, decapitated, torn to pieces by bullets”.
“What I can’t understand is whether our politicians let us down out of stubbornness, passivity or both,” he said.
“As a society, we have let our children down,” said Carolyn Maloney, the elected Democrat who organized the hearing, calling for ambitious gun control laws.
US President Joe Biden had promised during his campaign to act against this scourge that successive governments have so far failed to stem. But the narrow majority of his party in Congress does not allow him to pass such legislation alone.
The whole challenge is therefore to find measures that could obtain the approval of ten Republican senators, essential because of the rule of qualified majority in the Senate.
– ‘Law-abiding citizens’ –
But in a country where almost one in three adults owns at least one gun, Tories strongly oppose any measures that could violate the rights of “law-abiding citizens”.
“We should applaud all law-abiding gun owners who safely use, store and carry these guns and not demonize them for crude political gain,” Republican Congressman James Comer said during the hearing.
The discussions in the Senate therefore revolve for the moment around limited proposals, such as the verification of the criminal or psychological background of purchasers of individual weapons, which associations have been calling for for years.
They are piloted by Senator Chris Murphy, representing the State of Connecticut, forever marked by the Sandy Hook shooting on December 14, 2012, when a 20-year-old man had killed 26 people, including 20 children.
This parliamentarian went to the White House on Wednesday to keep Joe Biden informed of the state of the negotiations.
At the same time, elected members of the House of Representatives are debating another major bill which would ban the sale of semi-automatic rifles to those under 21 and that of high-capacity magazines.
Some of these measures will be put to a vote in the House on Wednesday evening but are strongly criticized by the Republican opposition. It therefore seems impossible that they can be adopted in the Senate.