Former Republican congressman who represented Uvalde wants more than ‘thoughts, prayers and complaining’

Former Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas), who represented the community of Uvalde, Texas, while in Congress wrote in a New York Times opinion article that he wants more to be done on gun control amid the recent string of mass shootings in the U.S. 

In the NYT op-ed published Sunday, Hurd wrote that the inaction from lawmakers has the media, the public, and some elected officials believe that nothing can be done to address gun violence, noting there are more mass shooting victims than the number of military personnel killed during the Afghanistan war. 

“Yet, neither horrifying headlines nor stunning statistics have generated substantial legislative action,” Hurd wrote in his essay. “This inaction has caused the public, the media, and some of those same elected officials to believe that nothing can be done. But that simply isn’t true.”

“There is not one piece of legislation that can prevent all mass shootings, but there are many things that we can do to save lives.” 

Hurd also mentions in his op-ed his support of the proposed H.R. 8 legislation, which would require universal background checks for gun owners, adding that elected officials need to take action on this matter instead of sending “thoughts and prayers” or complaining about the proposed bill going through a filibuster. 

“We also must be prepared in case guns do find their way into the wrong hands. We need to protect our most vulnerable places, like schools, churches, and hospitals,” Hurd, who once received an “A+” rating from the NRA, wrote. “We need to ensure local law enforcement is trained in the most effective ways of dealing with mass shooters.” 

“We are not helpless, and if the people we elect to address our country’s tough challenges think nothing can or should be done beyond thoughts, prayers and complaining about the filibuster, then it’s time we help them find a new career,” Hurd added. 

The Uvalde community is still reeling from the massacre at Robb Elementary School last month, where a gunman entered a fourth-grade classroom and opened fire, killing 19 schoolchildren and two of their teachers. 

In the aftermath of Uvalde, several mass shooting incidents happened across the U.S. over the weekend, including one in Philadelphia where three people were killed and 11 others wounded after multiple gunmen opened fire on the city’s South Street neighborhood. 

A bipartisan group of Senators has already started discussions on creating gun reform legislation in response to the mass shootings. 

Last week, President Biden publicly called on Congress to quickly address this issue, asking them to pass laws expanding background checks, implementing a national red flag law system, and banning assault rifles.