Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) issued the following statement today after a student allegedly brought a gun to Gardena High School and shot two students when the backpack concealing the weapon was dropped:
"I am just devastated to learn of the events today at Gardena High School. I am very thankful that the two students who were injured survived the initial shooting, and with limited information at this time I can only be hopeful they will make a full recovery, despite the brave young girl who remains in grave condition at the hospital tonight. I also want to thank the first responders and the faculty, staff, and students at Gardena for their quick response in isolating this incident and bringing it to a close.
"Weighing heavy on my heart is a recent wave of violence throughout my district in South Los Angeles that has claimed the lives of many of my constituents like: five-year-old Aaron Shannon Jr., hit by a bullet in his own backyard while showing off his Spiderman Halloween costume to his family; Kashmier James, a young woman killed while visiting friends on Christmas day; 14-year-old Taburi Watson, shot while riding his bike a few days before New Year's; and Mr. Lewis Smith, who sadly was removed from life support last week after surviving the initial shooting, in some sad and tragic twist of fate, in a plaza named for Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr.
"The debate over gun control has been brewing since the tragedy in Arizona almost two weeks ago that killed 6 people and left 14 injured, including my colleague, Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. One of the Congress' fiercest gun control advocates, Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, introduced simple and sensible legislation to ban the kind of magazine used in the shooting. I am proud to be a cosponsor of her legislation, even as I and my colleagues are being told by people both on and off the Hill that the legislation will go nowhere.
"Let's all be clear about one thing though: guns don't belong in the hands of students. And they don't belong on any school property. Period.
"I am eager to learn what steps LAUSD, the Cities of Gardena and Los Angeles, LAPD, the community, and all Los Angelinos will take to ensure that we remain united in our efforts to confront violence, keep our streets and our schools safe, and create economic and educational opportunities for all people.
"I ask all Americans to keep these young students in their thoughts and prayers during the critical hours and days ahead."