PARKLAND, Fl. (CBS) — A mother who understands the pain of losing their child to gun violence is speaking out after the tragic school shooting in Texas. Lori Alhadeff is a native of New Jersey.
She lost her daughter Alyssa in the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018.READ MORE: 2 Suspects Fatally Shot During Home Invasion In South Philadelphia, Police Say
CBS3’s Natasha Brown spoke with Alhadeff about the tragedy in Texas and her mission to protect school children by passing the Alyssa Law and Safer Schools Act.
“We cannot just sit back and do nothing,” Alhadeff said. “So both the federal bills, the Safer Schools Act, basically schools can do a risk assessment on their school and then based on those vulnerabilities they can apply for federal funding and then be able to fix things.”
She says the money could be used for a number of things including getting fencing for the main point of entry and bulletproof glass on doors and windows.
Alhadeff adds the Safe Schools Act needs to be passed this week without hesitation.
The lead sponsor of the bill is Congressman Roger Williams of Texas.
Under Alyssa’s Law, which is in effect in New Jersey, is a panic button for teachers or office staff that would alert law enforcement directly to a shooting or medical emergency.READ MORE: Melanoma Isn't Just Caused By Environmental Factors Like Sun Exposure, New Research Says
Authorities say the 18-year-old gunman shot and killed at least 19 children and two adults who were inside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. They say the alleged shooter was killed by a border patrol agent who rushed into the school without backup.
Some parents have given DNA samples to help investigators identify the victims.
Meantime, President Joe Biden is again urging lawmakers to stand up to the gun lobby and pass stricter gun legislation. He’s also ordered flags on all public buildings be flown at half-staff.
Here in the Philadelphia area, elected officials are reacting to the tragedy.
Mayor Jim Kenney said, “Philadelphia grieves with the people of Uvalde, Texas.”
“This is devastating. Every act of violence with a gun—from the street corner argument that ends in gunfire to the mass shooting in an elementary school—is a statement of policy failure for this country,” Kenney tweeted. “Every person should be outraged and distraught that we accept these tragedies as unavoidable instead of making them impossible through legislation and policy change. We cannot accept continued violence as a way of life in our country.”MORE NEWS: Pennsylvania Lawmakers Want To Pass Red Flag Gun Law To Help Battle Mental Health Crisis
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said on Twitter “dangerous people shouldn’t have guns. Period.”