After Uvalde: Guns, Grief & Texas Politics

On May 24, 2022, at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, teenager Salvador Ramos murdered nineteen children and two adults with two AR-15 assault rifles he recently and legally purchased. A new documentary "probes lingering questions about why this tragedy happened and explores how some of the Robb Elementary school families have responded." Thoughts and prayers from politicians and pastors did little to assuage the fact that the police and the policies concerning gun violence failed that day. In the ensuing days, weeks, and months, various law enforcement agencies disavowed their responsibility, revealing that armed "good guys" saving the day is a misnomer at best and delusional at worst. Gun reform continues to be a polarizing issue in the Texas Legislature and State Houses across the United States.

Narrated by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa, and a co-production of FRONTLINE documentary with Futuro Investigates and The Texas Tribune, the film draws from "hours of investigative footage from that day, Hinojosa explores the role of the shooter's AR-15 weapons in the police's hesitancy to confront him. The officers on the scene, Texas Tribune reporter Zach Despart tells her, knew their gear wouldn't protect them against an AR-15: 'They are well aware that these types of rounds, because of their high velocity, will penetrate their normal body armor.' Dr. Roy Guerrero, Uvalde's only pediatrician, describes the horror of what he saw in the hospital after the shooting: 'That's truly when I realized the caliber of what these weapons can do to a child's body," he tells Hinojosa. "So, imagine a child who's decapitated. That's it. What else do I have to tell you?'"

The film debuted on "Tuesday, May 30, 2023, at 10/9c on PBS stations (check local listings) and on FRONTLINE's YouTube channel. It will also be available to stream starting at 7/6c the night of its release at and in the PBS Video App."

For more on Texas gun reform, see reporting in the Texas Tribune by Alexandro Serrano, "After years of little progress, Texas gun control and safety advocates see some small openings for dialogue at the Capitol."

"Futuro Unidad Hinojosa is the IRE-award-winning investigative and special projects division of the Pulitzer-award-winning organization Futuro Media, led by Maria Hinojosa & Peniley Ramírez. Latina-founded and women-led, Futuro Investigates is on a mission to create a new definition of investigative work in the tradition of the best American journalism. We are doing it by centering humanity along with data and field reporting that holds the powerful accountable and confronts challenges that communities of color face across the Americas."