Bisexual senator Kyrsten Sinema called out for shallow tribute to victims of Texas school shooting
Senator Kyrsten Sinema has been condemned for paying tribute to victims of the tragic school shooting in Texas despite standing in the way of sensible gun control measures being passed.
Teenage gunman Salvatore Ramos murdered 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday (24 May). This marks the 27th school shooting in America in 2022 alone, according to NPR.
Sinema, a bisexual, Democratic senator for Arizona, said on Twitter she was “horrified and heartbroken by the senseless tragedy” and “grateful to first responders for acting swiftly”.
“No families should ever have to fear violence in their children’s schools,” she added.
Kyrsten Sinema found herself facing swift backlash for her “sympathetic” tweet as she is a staunch advocate for legislative filibuster that has prevented Democrats from passing urgently-needed gun reform laws.
The filibuster requires 60 senators to vote in favor of a bill for it to pass and become law.
In the past Democrats have attempted to pass gun safety measures such as tightening background checks on firearm sales, but due to Republican opposition and a few Democrats like Sinema, they have not gotten very far.
Sinema has stood in the way of her party’s progressive agendas that have been blocked by the filibuster such as pro-LGBTQ+ rights, pro-reproductive rights and pro-voting rights.
Senator Ruben Gallego responded to Sinema’s tweet and wrote: “Please just stop.. unless you are willing to break the filibuster to actually pass sensible gun control measures you might as well just say ‘thoughts and prayers’.”
To pass any bills that could possibly enforce tighter gun control measures the filibuster would have to be eliminated – and there’s no sign of that happening anytime soon.
In a speech earlier this year Kyrsten Sinema said: “There is no need for me to restate my long-standing support for the 60-vote threshold to pass legislation. There’s no need for me to restate its role protecting our country from wild reversals in federal policy.”
The legislative filibuster continues to be a pain for the Democrats and a weapon for Republicans with many Americans online calling for it to be removed.
Outside the Senate on Wednesday (25 May), Sinema said to reporter Jake Sherman: “Despite the fact that there is always heated rhetoric here in DC, I do think there is an opportunity for us to have real conversations and try and do something.”
Kyrsten Sinema added that she is ready to have conversations with “both sides of the aisle”.