Former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki spoke about Tuesday’s elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas that killed 19 children and two teachers. In her Wednesday appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” she discouraged individuals from giving up hope and advocated getting involved with gun reform organizations through voting and volunteering.
Discussing her own response to the horrors — including her fears as a parent — Psaki also encouraged individuals to get involved with gun reform organizations and “always have hope.”
Psaki – who has two children who attend kindergarten and preschool respectively – said her initial reaction was “shock” followed by sadness. “You know, that kind of sadness you get when your throat feels like you’re crying when you talk. And then, like so many parents across the country, you feel scared. I was thinking about sending my daughter to daycare 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 that Joe Biden gave Tuesday night, saying in part, “I think what people saw … was someone who knows what it’s like to lose a child, who knows what it’s like, having part of his soul and part of your heart is ripped out. As I watched, I looked at his face and watched the wrinkles in his eyes and the emotions, and I looked at Dr. Biden behind him and thought, ‘These are people who know this pain. It doesn’t cure it for other people, but they understand what it is and it affects how they live their lives and how they govern.’”
When asked by Fallon if she thinks “change” will happen, Psaki said, “I think the most important thing for people to know is that no one is powerless in this moment. Everyone has a voice, everyone can use that voice in many ways. Yes you can vote, you can get involved in many organizations too – there are amazing organizations fighting for gun reform – and this is another way to get involved. What I’ve learned from working in the White House and in government is that there must always be hope. You always have to remember that change is possible and maybe it won’t happen next month or next year… but what happens when you have tragedies like the one in Texas is that it shakes people up in many ways. Guns… kill more children every year than anything else. That’s fact. There are more guns in this country than people in this country and those kinds of details wake people up and sometimes that’s when things change.”
Psaki’s comments come as it becomes tragically clear that, once again, nothing will happen in response to the mass murder of children. Corresponding The Washington Post31,000 students have been affected by mass violence since 1999, and hundreds of them have been murdered.
And in the latest sickening details, according to the Associated Press, police officers stood idle for 40 minutes during the attack, while nearby parents begged her to take action and even considered storming into the school alone. This comes after the original story, which claimed the shooter was wearing a body armor, was revealed to be false.
Watch the full video above.