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Gun control debate returns as Uvalde community grapples with tragedy

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Posted at 10:01 PM, May 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-25 23:01:28-04

After Tuesday's tragedy in Uvalde, a national conversation about guns is taking center stage as both gun control and gun rights activists speak out.

From heated demands for legislators to enact more gun regulations to calls to protect Second Amendment rights, people are looking towards solutions after an 18-year-old shot and killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary school.

During a press conference in Uvalde on Wednesday afternoon, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke interrupted to accuse Governor Greg Abbott of not doing enough to stop gun violence in the state.

"The only thing he did was make it easier to carry a gun in public," O'Rourke said of Abbott's response to the 2019 mass shooting in El Paso. "And he bragged about the fact that there would be no background check no training, no vetting whatsoever."

Others, like Sen. Ted Cruz, are warning against gun-rights restrictions.

"You see politicians trying to politicize it," Cruz said. "You see democrats and a lot of folks in the media whose immediate solution is to try to restrict the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens. That doesn't work, it's not effective it doesn't prevent crime."

Juan Varona, manager and firearms trainer at VT Services Group in Bell County said he was heartbroken to see the horror in Uvalde. He plans to offer free license to carry training for Bell County teachers and school administrators.

"We will help you with the basics of how to pick up a gun, how to clean it, how to check that there's nothing in there. I mean we go through the entire process," Varona said.

He encourages other firearms training facilities to do the same, as a part of the "Life First" initiative.

While Varona said further restrictions on gun access are not the answer, educating people on self-defense may help.

"If they know that the victim can defend themselves, it may cause thinking twice," he said.

For teachers interested in participating in the free training services from VT Services, Varona encourages them to email ltc@lifefirst.info for more information.