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'It has to stop' | Gov. Cooper calls for ban on assault weapons

"We cannot forget this tragedy when it fades from the news. We cannot normalize the mass murder of children. We cannot wait any longer. It has to stop."
Credit: WCNC

RALEIGH, N.C. — Gov. Roy Cooper released a video on his Twitter account Thursday morning calling for a ban on assault weapons following the tragic mass shooting at a Texas elementary school.

At least 21 people, including 19 children, were killed in a shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, law enforcement officials said. Several others, both students and adults, are being treated for injuries.

  • Uvalde officials said the shooting started at 11:32 a.m. Tuesday at a building at Robb Elementary that houses students in grades two through four. All campuses were placed under lockdown due to the gunfire.
  • Department of Public Safety officials told KENS 5 in addition to the 19 children killed, there were also two adult fatalities in the tragedy: AP has confirmed they are both teachers at the school.
  • The alleged shooter was also killed by a tactical agent responding to the scene after he exchanged gunfire with law enforcement, local police confirmed. It is believed that shooter acted alone; he has been identified as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos.

RELATED: Texas gun attack prompts call for action in Senate

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In the nearly 3-minute video, Cooper asked "what on earth is more important than protecting our children?"

Cooper said as governor of North Carolina, he feels a strong responsibility to do all he can to keep our children safe at school and to prevent these horrible mass shootings.

He said that's why he took executive action back in 2019 by strengthening background checks

"We've mandated safety plans and coordinated schools and local law enforcement. I've vetoed dangerous bills that would have allowed guns in schools," Cooper said. "But that's not enough."

RELATED: School massacre continues Texas' grim run of mass shootings

Cooper said a strong universal background checks law is now sitting in the United States Senate. He said they need to pass it and the President will sign it. Cooper said while they're at it, they should also ban assault weapons. 

"Until they do, state legislators should close North Carolina's permanent loophole for these weapons," Cooper said. "Pass it and I'll sign it." 

Cooper went on to say that we need Republicans in North Carolina and across the country to come to the table and pass these bills or we need to choose new leaders. 

"We cannot forget this tragedy when it fades from the news. We cannot normalize the mass murder of children. We cannot wait any longer. It has to stop," Cooper stressed.

Cooper also spoke on the matter in Concord Thursday ahead of the Coca-Cola 600, stressing the need for action and for additional resources in schools.

“We need more help with counselors," Cooper said. "Schools are in place. Students need comprehensive services so they can get the help they need.”

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