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The women of The View channeled their grief into anger Thursday morning as they discussed the tragic shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, in which a gunman killed 19 children and two adults.
The View opened the episode with a clip of Beto O'Rourke, the Democratic nominee in Texas' gubernatorial election, who confronted Gov. Greg Abbott over his inaction on gun reform during a Wednesday press conference. "Is this kind of public confrontation the only way to get some politicians to wake up and maybe talk about gun safety," asked Whoopi, "Or will people just write this off as political theater?"
In a somewhat surprising turn, Sara Haines — the co-host most concerned with "civility" — defended O'Rourke's decision to publicly call out Abbott. "He calmly kept talking. They called him some other things we can't say [a "son of a b*tch"] — absolutely this matters," she said. "I would never show my face if I were Gov. Abbott after what happened. Many people can't even peel themselves off the floor in grief in those communities, and yet he's sitting there holding some kind of press conference."
"To me, Beto O'Rourke, whether it's performative or not — by the way, who in D.C. isn't performative? — marched in there and calmly said, 'Enough is enough,'" continued Haines. "I appreciated it. I was here for it."
Sunny Hostin agreed, noting that the Republicans onstage beside Abbott (as well as those in Washington who criticized him after the fact) "seemed angrier at Beto O'Rourke than they were at the massacre of 19 children and two fourth grade teachers!"
BETO O’ ROURKE CONFRONTS TEXAS GOVERNOR: Gov. Greg Abbott held a press conference about the school shooting massacre, but #TheView panel questions if Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke interrupting the proceedings was an appropriate protest or political theater. pic.twitter.com/mlny3wgrn6— The View (@TheView) May 26, 2022
"They were yelling at him. I'd like to see some of that energy around gun safety! I was so shocked that they were so angry at what he was saying, and he was saying the right things," she continued. "It was totally predictable. I mean, Gov. Abbott is the person that changed the age of owning a gun from 21 to 18! This was completely predictable. It's cyclical. Our country is the only country that has this problem."
Hostin went on to blast Republicans for blaming the shooting on "mental illness" rather than guns. "Let's remember that people who have mental illness are 10 times more likely to be the victims of crime, not the perpetrators of crime," she said. "I am so sick of this freaking narrative about mental illness!"
As she did yesterday, Behar argued that the best way to solve gun violence is to vote Democrats into office. "The Republicans in Congress right now, none of them are moving on this at all. Why? Because they're afraid of losing their power," said the co-host. "Their constituents in their base will not vote for them. That is really the problem. And that is an intractable problem. They will never, ever do something as long as that base is controlling the situation."
"The only way to really fix this is to not vote for Republicans," added Behar. "Because in the general election, the one that's coming up soon, those Republicans are always going to be at the mercy of their constituents. So you vote for the Democrats – in this particular instance, you will break that. It's important to understand that. There is no way out of this other than that."
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Claire Spellberg Lustig is the TV Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.