SAN DIEGO — San Diegans are among those calling for more action in the wake of Tuesday's deadly shooting at an elementary school in Texas that left 19 children and two adults dead.
Organizers for Safer CA held a candlelight vigil Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Waterfront Park to remember those murdered in Texas.
"This is scary...I have lockdown drills with my kids and we practice what to do when someone comes into our building, it’s not fair for them, they’re just babies," said preschool teacher, Melissa Hamand, who was at the vigil on Wednesday night.
"Well, we’re pushing for one basic law and that’s background checks at the federal level we’d also like to see a ban on assault weapons and red flag laws put in place at the federal level," said Carol Landale, who is the executive director of San Diegans for Gun Violence Protection.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Nathan Fletcher directed flags at the San Diego County Administration Center to fly at half-staff in honor of the victims of Tuesday's mass shooting.
"Gun violence has once again taken the lives of innocent schoolchildren," Fletcher said in response to the shooting, which left at least 19 students dead at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, a small city west of San Antonio. The death toll also included two adults, authorities said. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said one of the two was a teacher.
San Diego Mayor, Todd Gloria posted his reaction on Twitter, "San Diego grieves with Uvalde, Texas amid this unimaginable horror that has struck their community. We can’t continue to act like this kind of senseless gun violence is normal — it’s not. We must reform this country’s gun laws. Now."
A retired ATF special agent and mom pushing for gun laws shared their insight.
"I'm unspeakably heartbroken for the people of Texas, the parents who lost their children today and children who survived that will live with that trauma forever," said Celeste Perron, a volunteer with the California chapter of Moms Demand Action.
The organization was founded in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting that claimed the lives of 26 people. Ten years later, the shooting at Robb Elementary in Texas echoes the Sandy Hook massacre.
"Children are still being slaughtered in their schools and that is absolutely unacceptable," Perron said.
Tuesday was the deadliest school shooting in Texas history. It was also the most deadly grade school shooting in the U.S. since Sandy Hook. Lawmakers are being called on to take action.
"You should be moving heaven and earth to keep our children safe. And I hope these people who are not doing enough, some of these leaders who are not doing what they know, that they will change," Perron said.
Brad Galvan spent thirty years as an ATF agent and investigated active shooter incidents.
"Here in the United States there's almost four million weapons," he said. "It's very easy to get a firearm."
He said there must be improvements in addressing mental health.
"It has to be identified and acted upon before it gets to this point where they get their hands on a firearm and do something as horrendous as this," Galvan said.
The county building in San Diego was lit up orange in remembrance of the lives lost.
Chula Vista moms reflect on Texas mass school shooting
WATCH RELATED: President Biden says 'we have to act' after Texas school shooting (May 2022)