NewsHillsborough County

Actions

Mother of gun violence victim reacts to President Biden’s speech

Mother of gun violence victim reacts to President Biden’s speech
Posted at 11:46 PM, Jun 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-03 07:28:11-04

TAMPA, Fla. — June 1, the 152nd day of the year, marked the first day of hurricane season, and the day of yet another mass shooting in America. This one was not at a school, grocery store, church, or mall, but at a hospital in Tulsa, Okla.

“There are too many other places that have become killing fields,” President Joe Biden said in an address to the nation Thursday night.

According to the non-profit organization gun violence archive, there have been 233 mass shootings so far this year.

“It makes me feel very upset,” LaMaria Smith said.

Smith’s daughter, Savannah Mathism was shot and killed last December. She was driving near Julian B Lane Park when she was shot. She was a 21-year-old nursing student.

RELATED: 2 suspects arrested following deadly shooting of 21-year-old in Tampa

“How many families have to die,” Smith said. “How many people have to keep crying.”

No, her daughter wasn’t killed during a mass shooting. But, for Smith, the pain is the same, because just like those victims in Buffalo, Uvalde, and Tulsa a gun was used to kill her daughter too.

“We wake up with this nightmare, we go to sleep with this nightmare,” she said. “The pain never eases up. I don’t care what anybody tells you.”

She, like some Americans, agrees with President Biden’s message asking lawmakers to pass “commonsense gun reform.”

“I want to be very clear, this is not about taking away anyone’s guns,” Biden said. “We believe we should be treating responsible gun owners as an example how every gun owner should behave.”

The president urged lawmakers to make several changes with gun laws, but one of the most notable points, he urged for a ban on assault rifles. He said, “if not a ban,” then they should raise the age limit for people who can buy assault rifles from 18 to 21.

Not many Republicans agree. Congressman Jim Jordan spoke out earlier Thursday, during a Judiciary committee meeting.

“No one wants another tragedy," the Ohio representative said. "No one wants this to happen again. Democrats never once reached out to use to see our input on the legislation we’re considering here today. Protecting children is not a Republican or Democrat issue. The Democrats cobbled together a package of measures. This is not a real attempt, in my judgement, to find solutions.”

To see more from the president's address, click here.