Last week’s mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, set a new record for the most lethal act of gun violence in a school in the United States. Nineteen children and two adults lost their lives in the South Texas incident, which closely followed the racist attack that left ten dead at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York. As the gun violence epidemic in the U.S. has grown ever-more devastating, the public reaction follows a familiar cycle of outrage, forgetting, and inaction. Amber Ybarra, a relative of Eva Mireles, one of the two adults killed in the massacre, joined Roundtable to discuss the episode, the media coverage, and what the incident reveals about American society today.
Ybarra acknowledges that mass-shooting tragedies often leave the general public with a devastating sense of powerlessness, but notes that there are plenty of ways to indirectly support the victims.
“Let me donate blood, let me be there physically to support my family, Let me be a phone call away. Let me physically be there to talk to you and be a shoulder to lean on,” she says. “They have their GoFundMe page to help the families financially. We can’t just feel strongly about this now and then go back to our lives, because they are not going to be able to go back straight back to theirs.’
Ybarra remembers her cousin Eva Mireles, who died as she attempted to defend her fourth-grade students, as “truly a hero.”
“I will forever remember her in that light, what she did, knowing that she's a mom who has a child herself. Standing up to do whatever she could in a very tragic, helpless situation is nothing short of heroic,” she says.
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“That is a true testament to who she is a as a human being. She's always put 150 percent of her love into everything, whether it was her role as a mom, as a wife, as a family member, and definitely as a teacher.”
Watch the full discussion below:
Amber Ybarra, Cousin of Uvalde shooting victim