Olivia Rodrigo took time out during her concert at Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre on Tuesday night (May 24) to make a plea for common sense gun legislation in response to the horrific mass shooting at a Texas elementary school earlier in the day that killed 19 children and 2 adults.
“I wish we would never have to worry about our safety or our lives at places that are dedicated to our learning and growing,” Rodrigo said while telling the crowd she was “so devastated” about the latest shooting at a U.S. school, which CNN reported was at least the 38th at K-12, colleges and universities so far this year. “And I’m so heartbroken that this is the reality that we’re living in — and we need stricter gun control laws in America.”
The 19-year-old singer joined the loud chorus of Democratic politicians, gun control advocates and fellow musicians who once again urged those in power to take any action to curb the devastating toll of gun violence in the nation.
In an emotional prime time address, a clearly shaken President Biden expressed his frustration at the refusal by some members of Congress to pass any substantive gun control legislation in the wake of the nation’s second mass shooting incident in two weeks. “Why? Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen?” Biden asked.
“The gun manufacturers have spent two decades aggressively marketing assault weapons, which make them the most and largest profit,” Biden said. “For God’s sake, we have to have the courage to stand up to the industry. Where in God’s name is our backbone?”
Grand Prairie, Texas native Selena Gomez also weighed in on the shocking incident, in which an armed 18-year-old in body armor allegedly entered the school and began shooting after reportedly killing his grandmother. “Today in my home state of Texas 18 innocent students were killed while simply trying to get an education. A teacher killed doing her job; an invaluable yet sadly under appreciated job. If children aren’t safe at school where are they safe?” Gomez wrote after the nation’s 27th school shooting so far this year, which has also seen 212 mass shooting incidents in 145 days so far.
The massacre of children came 10 days after an heavily armed 18-year-old white supremacist opened fire and allegedly killed 10 people in a Buffalo, New York supermarket where he reportedly went to specifically target and murder Black shoppers. The attack on Robb Elementary came nearly 10 years after a 20-year-old gunman killed 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut.
Taylor Swift tweeted that she was, “Filled with rage and grief, and so broken by the murders in Uvalde. By Buffalo, Laguna Woods and so many others. By the ways in which we, as a nation, have become conditioned to unfathomable and unbearable heartbreak. Steve’s words ring so true and cut so deep.”
The latter comment was a nod to an emotional statement from Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr — whose father was killed by gunmen in Beirut in 1984 — shortly before his team was set to play a playoff game at the home arena of the Dallas Mavericks, which is 400 miles from the scene of the mass killing. “When are we gonna do something!” Kerr said during a pre-game press conference. “I’m tired of the moments of silence. Enough!”
Watch a fan-shot video of Rodrigo’s comments below.
Olivia Rodrigo says she’s “devastated” about the massacre of 18 children at a Texas school today.
“I’m so heartbroken that this is the reality that we’re living in. And we need stronger gun control in America.” pic.twitter.com/lKnTGZdB8k
— Tomás Mier (@Tomas_Mier) May 25, 2022