The US ambassador to Ireland, Claire Cronin, has said that the US can learn from Ireland about gun control.
Ms Cronin told RTÉ Radio’s News at One that she experienced feelings of grief and despair when she heard of the killing of 19 children and two teachers in Texas.
She also had “a deep and abiding sense of frustration” that US lawmakers have not addressed gun control issues.
How could elected officials “not have the guts” to stand up to the gun lobby, she said.
“I can’t understand that,” Ms Cronin added.
She pointed out that her home state of Massachusetts had the strictest gun control laws in the US and the lowest number of gun deaths.
Regulations in relation to gun ownership in that State had changed after the Sandy Hook shooting in which 20 school children were killed, she added.
There is nothing worse than children not being able to go to school safely, she said.
My thoughts & prayers go out to the families of the victims of the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas. As a former Massachusetts legislator, passing stricter gun laws was a top priority. I echo @POTUS call for action. This is a senseless tragedy.
— Claire Cronin (@USAmbIreland) May 25, 2022
Ms Cronin explained that there is a very strong and active gun lobby in the US, but it was “beyond” her that people would take the word of the gun lobby.
Gun laws work, that had been demonstrated in other countries such as Ireland. It had been demonstrated in the past that when assault weapons were banned, shootings were down, and when they were relaxed the number of shootings went up again.
Gun laws were effective and did not have to impact on the individual right to bear arms.
While she had hope that change could come, Ms Cronin was also concerned that mass shootings were happening “over and over again”.
“I don’t know what it will take.”