Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott sparked outrage after saying the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas "could have been worse."
Speaking about the murders of 19 children and two teachers, Abbott said "Texans must come together and support the families who have been affected by this horrific tragedy."
But it was his remark that the shooting "could have been worse" that angered many who criticized him for not backing comprehensive gun control measures.
You can hear Abbott's remarks in the video below.
“All Texans must come together and support the families who have been affected by this horrific tragedy. What they need now more than ever is our love."
"What they need is uplifting from all of our fellow Texans and all of our fellow Americans.”
“The reality is, as horrible as what happened, it could have been worse."
“The reason it was not worse is because law enforcement officials did what they do: They showed amazing courage by running toward gun fire for the singular purpose of trying to save lives.”
He also dismissed calls for stronger gun control laws while bringing up a conservative talking point about crimes in liberal urban centers:
“I hate to say it, but there are more people who are shot every weekend in Chicago than there are in schools in Texas."
“If you’re looking for a real solution, Chicago teaches that what you’re talking about is not a real solution. Our job is to come up with real solutions that we can implement.”
Many criticized Abbott in the wake of his remarks, suggesting he has blood on his hands by not supporting laws that would make massacres like the one in Uvalde less likely.
Abbott backed out of an appearance at the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association (NRA) amid controversy over his remarks about the shooting.
He will still be seen in pre-recorded remarks at the meeting, which begins today, May 27.