At least 17 people were also wounded by the gunman, who used an assault rifle and was killed by responding police. The shooting in Uvalde, Texas, is now the third most deadly school shooting in American history following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, where 28 people were killed in 2012, and the Virginia Tech shooting, in 2007, where 33 people died.
“I cannot even fathom the pain the families in Uvalde are feeling,” McGraw wrote on Twitter just hours after the incident. “To me, this isn’t about political sides, personal freedoms, or beliefs. We, as human beings, need to realize that we have a disease that needs recognition, treatment, and a cure.
“I’m not intelligent enough, as most people are, to understand that we must have real, unbiased dialogue and action about what/how to work toward a solution. Divisive rhetoric has done zero to help this problem – it’s only made it worse.
He added: “For one minute, let’s set aside our idealistic views and concentrate on the kind of world we want our children to grow up in. This sort of tragedy has become far too common, far too acceptable. This shouldn’t have been acceptable 20 years ago, 4 years ago, or one week ago. This SHOULD NOT be acceptable. This is not normal.”
Chris Pratt shared a collage image of 16 of the children killed in the school shooting. He recently welcomed his second daughter into the world with wife Katherine Schwarzenegger, and has a son, Jack, with ex-wife Anna Faris.
“Like the rest of us I’m devastated and heartbroken,” Pratt wrote. “This type of evil is unfathomable. I’m praying for the families of each of these children, for these beautiful souls taken far too soon. I simply cannot imagine what the parents are going through. I’m so sorry.”
Selena Gomez wrote on Twitter: “Today in my home state of Texas 18 innocent students were killed while simply trying to get an education. A teacher killed doing her job; an invaluable yet sadly under appreciated job. If children aren’t safe at school where are they safe?”
She continued in another tweet: “It’s so frustrating and I’m not sure what to say anymore. Those in power need to stop giving lip service and actually change the laws to prevent these shootings in the future.”
Gomez added a link to the Everytown nonprofit organization, a group that “efforts to educate policy makers, as well the press and the public, about the consequences of gun violence and promote efforts to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.”
Taylor Swift also spoke out, sharing Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr’s plea for gun control.
“Filled with rage and grief, and so broken by the murders in Uvalde,” Swift wrote. “By Buffalo, Laguna Woods and so many others. By the ways in which we, as a nation, have become conditioned to unfathomable and unbearable heartbreak. Steve’s words ring so true and cut so deep.”
Kerr begged for reform during a press conference just hours after the shootings. “When are we going to do something?” he asked. “I am tired. I am so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families out there. I’m tired of the moments of silence. Enough.”
Matthew McConaughey, who hails from the small Texas town roughly 85 miles from San Antonio, wrote: “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”
He pleaded with every American to “take a longer and deeper look in the mirror, and ask ourselves, ‘What is it that we truly value? How do we repeat the problem? What small sacrifices can we individually take today, to pressure a healthier and safer nation, state, and neighborhood tomorrow?’ We cannot exhale once again, make excuses, and accept these tragic realities as the status quo.”
Kim Kardashian referenced an old essay she wrote in honor of National Gun Violence Awareness Day, in which five years ago she wondered, “Is it more important to protect the second amendment than to protect our own children?”
She added on her Instagram Stories: “I find myself heartbroken, disgusted and furious about how little has been done by law makers to enact gun laws that protect our children. There is no excuse and no justification for what happened yesterday. The current laws in our country around gun control are not protecting our children. We have to push law makers to enact laws that are fitting in today’s world.”
Kardashian continued: “We can’t accept this as normal anymore. It’s not normal for a teenager to kill children. It’s not normal for our kids to be practicing active shooter drills in schools. It’s not normal to be shot while shopping for groceries. I’m not numbed by it. I will never be numbed by it. We can’t accept it.”
Britney Spears wrote on Instagram: “My heart is shattered. I’m lost for words. My prayers are with the victims of Robb Elementary and their families. Our sympathies and condolences are just not enough. We have to take action. We need change. Enough is enough. We will keep our prayers coming even if it’s not enough to heal the loss.”