Texas school shooting draws cries of grief and disbelief from world leaders

Published: May 26, 2022 12:52 PM EDT
Updated: June 7, 2022 11:18 AM EDT
French President Emmanuel Macron speaka to the press with Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa prior to their working lunch at the Elysee palace in Paris, Thursday, April 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

The mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, has reverberated across the world, making headlines and drawing both condolences, and calls for change.

At the Vatican, Pope Francis said the tragedy had left him “heartbroken,” adding: “It’s time to say enough to the indiscriminate trafficking of weapons.”

“This is happening in completely peaceful times, when completely innocent children are killed,” lamented Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, speaking via remote from Kyiv to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “If you want my opinion, then war is everywhere.”

Speaking on the “Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was “so sorry for what has happened,” and explained how her country adopted tougher gun control laws after a white supremacist shot and killed 51 worshippers at two mosques in 2019.

“When we saw something like that happen, everyone said, ‘Never again’… We have legitimate needs for guns in our country, for things like pest control and to protect our biodiversity, but you don’t need a military-style semiautomatic weapon to do that,” she said. “So, we got rid of that.”

In Australia, where a 1996 mass shooting left 35 people dead, prompting sweeping gun control reforms, national treasurer Jim Chalmers said he didn’t understand why the U.S. has not taken similar steps.

“It’s just hard to imagine, hard to fathom, how a great nation like the United States can go on like this, with these mass shootings and all of this gun violence,” he said.

In France, President Emmanuel Macron sent in a tweet calling the school shooting in Texas “cowardly,” adding: “We share the shock and grief of the American people, and the rage of those who are fighting to end the violence.”