(DALLAS) — Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr delivered a powerful message on Tuesday after 19 children and two teachers were killed in a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas: “We can’t get numb to this.”
In his pregame news conference before tip-off for Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals against the Dallas Mavericks, Kerr said “any basketball questions don’t matter” and instead addressed politicians in a plea for gun control.
“When are we going to do something?” Kerr yelled, slamming his fists on the table. “I’m tired. I’m so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there — I’m sorry. I’m tired of the moments of silence. Enough.”
Kerr, who has long been outspoken against gun violence, also referenced H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, a bill that would tighten background checks for private firearm transfers. The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives last year but has since stalled in the Senate, with conservative lawmakers, whose votes are required to overcome a filibuster, and Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin opposed to the legislation.
“There’s a reason why they won’t vote on it. To hold on to power,” Kerr said Tuesday. “So I ask you, [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell, I ask all of you senators who refuse to do anything about the violence and school shootings and supermarket shootings, I ask you: Are you going to put your own desire for power ahead of the lives of our children and our elderly and our churchgoers? Because that’s what it looks like. It’s what we do every week.”
Kerr’s father was shot dead in a reported terror attack in Beirut in 1984. Kerr has since spent much of his professional career using his platform to echo calls for gun law reform.
“I’m fed up,” he said Tuesday evening. “I’ve had enough. We’re going to play the game tonight, but I want every person here, every person listening to this — think about your own child or grandchild or mother or father, sister, brother — how would you feel if this happened to you today?”
The Uvalde, Texas, shooting at Robb Elementary School happened just over a week after a suspected white supremacist was accused of killing 10 Black shoppers at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, and 10 days after a gunman opened fire at a church in Laguna Woods, California, killing one.
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