Former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki discussed the elementary school shooting that took place Tuesday in Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 children and two teachers. In her Wednesday appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” she discouraged individuals from losing hope and advocated for getting involved through voting and volunteer work with gun reform organizations.
Psaki spoke about her own reaction to the horrors — including her fears as a parent — and also encouraged individuals to get involved with gun reform organizations and “always have hope”
Psaki — who has two children attending kindergarten and pre-school, respectively — said her first reaction was “shock” followed by grief. “You know, that kind of sadness that you get when your throat feels like if you talk you’re gonna cry. And then, you feel fear, like so many parents across the country. I was thinking of sending my daughter to kindergarten today, and ‘Is she safe? Is she OK there? What kind of security do they have? Should they have security?’”
She also spoke about the speech Joe Biden gave on Tuesday night, saying in part that, “I think what people saw … was somebody who knows what it’s like to lose a child, knows what it’s like to have part of your soul and part of your heart ripped out. Watching it, I was looking at his face and watching the crinkles in his eyes and the emotions, and I was looking at Dr. Biden behind him and thinking, ‘These are people who know that pain. It doesn’t make it heal it for other people, but they understand what it is, and it impacts how they live their lives and how they govern.’”
Asked by Fallon if she thinks “change” is going to happen, Psaki said, “I think the most important thing for people to know is nobody’s powerless in this moment. Everybody has a voice, everybody can use that voice in many ways. Yes, you can vote, you can also get involved in a lot of organizations — there are amazing organizations fighting for gun reform out there — and that’s another way to get involved. What I learned from working in the White House and working in government is that you have to always have hope. You have to always think that change is possible and that maybe it’s not going to happen next month or next year… but what happens when you have tragedies like the one in Texas is it jerks people awake in a lot of ways. Guns… kill more kids every year than anything else. That’s a fact. There are more guns in this country than there are people in this country and those type of details jerk people awake and that’s sometimes when change happens.”
Psaki’s comments come as it becomes tragically clear that yet again, nothing will happen in response to mass murder of children. According to The Washington Post, 31,000 students have been affected by mass violence since 1999, with hundreds of them murdered.
And in the latest sickening detail, according to the Associated Press, police officers stood by doing nothing for 40 minutes during the attack, while nearby parents begged them to act and even considered trying to rush into the school by themselves. This comes after it was revealed that the initial story claiming the shooter had body armor on was false.
Watch the full video above.