Uvalde families gather at Texas Capitol for Day of the Dead

Austin, Texas — Families of some of the 19 children killed in the Uvalde school massacre held a rally, march and altar decoration outside the Texas State Capitol Tuesday night to mark the Day of the Dead.

Relatives who carried the altar to the mansion of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott chose the site to renew calls for tougher gun laws in Texas following the May shooting at Rob Elementary School. They were the most vocal about raising the age to buy AR-15-style rifles from 18 to 21. Abbott, who will be re-elected, has pushed back, saying it would be “unconstitutional.”

“We’re here today celebrating the lives of our children,” said Kimberly Rubio, whose daughter Lexie Rubio was killed in the Uwald shooting, “but also trying to connect with parents on a personal, mom and dad level. As long as you care about your children, protect them, and go out and vote for candidates for smart gun legislation.”

Day of the Dead – or Dia de los Muertos – is a Mexican and Latino holiday where people celebrate the lives of deceased loved ones and encourage their spirits to visit with them. Nearly three-quarters of Uwald’s residents are Hispanic.

Abbott is running for a third term with Democrat Beto O’Rourke, who has the support of several Rob Elementary School parents but faces a tough climb in Tuesday’s election.

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More AP coverage of the Uvalde school shooting: https://apnews.com/hub/uvalde-school-shooting

Follow AP coverage of elections: https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections

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