An 11-year-old girl who survived a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 kids and two adults dead, described her harrowing experience to lawmakers during a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing on gun violence.
In a pre-taped video, Miah Cerrillo said that the gunman stormed into her classroom and shot her teacher in the head before turning his weapon on her classmates.
"He shot my friend that was next to me," Miah said. "And I thought he would come back to the room."
Cerrillo said that when the gunman went into the adjacent classroom, she took "a little blood and I put it all over me" and pretended to be dead. At one point, she managed to get her teacher's phone and used it to call 911.
She told lawmakers that she is afraid to return to school and said that she just wants "to have security."
Cerrillo's father testified in person to the committee and urged lawmakers to act.
"Today I come because I could have lost my baby girl," he told lawmakers, fighting back tears. "She is not the same little girl that I used to play with, and run around with and do everything, because she was daddy's little girl."
"Thank you for letting me be here and speak out, but I wish something will change, not only for our kids but for every single kid in the world, because schools are not safe anymore," he continued. "Something needs to really change."
Felix and Kimberly Rubio, who lost their ten-year-old daughter in the shooting, told lawmakers it is time to act and laid out their demands for gun control legislation.
- "We seek a ban on assault rifles and high-capacity magazines. We understand that for some reason, to some people, to people with money, to people who fund political campaigns, that guns are more important than children. So at this moment, we ask for progress.
- "We seek to raise the age to purchase these weapons from 18 to 21 years of age."
- "We seek red flag laws, stronger background checks."
- "We also want to repeal gun manufacturers' liability immunity."
The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the Protecting Our Kids Act, which raises the age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle to 21, bans high-capacity magazines, and provides incentives for states to enact Red Flag laws that make it easier for law enforcement to take away guns from potentially dangerous people.
While the bill is expected to pass the House, it is unlikely to garner the 60 votes needed to pass in the Senate.