Uvalde families gather at Texas Capitol for Day of the Dead

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Families of some of the 19 children killed in the Uvalde school massacre commemorated the Day of Dead with a rally, procession and a decorated altar outside the Texas Capitol on Tuesday night.

Relatives, who marched to the mansion of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott carrying the altar, chose the location to again demand tougher gun laws in Texas following the May shooting at Robb Elementary School. They have been most vocal about raising the age to purchase AR-15-style rifles from 18 to 21. Abbott, who is up for reelection, has pushed back on that, saying it would be “unconstitutional.”

“We are here today celebrating our children’s lives,” said Kimberly Rubio, whose daughter Lexi Rubio died in the Uvalde shooting, “but also trying to reach out to parents on a personal, on a mom and dad level. Just if you care about your children, protect them, go out to vote for candidates who support sensible gun legislation.”

Day of the Dead — or Dia de los Muertos — is a Mexican and Latino holiday in which people celebrate the lives of deceased loved ones and encourage their souls to visit with them. Nearly three-quarters of the residents of Uvalde are Hispanic.

Abbott is running for a third term against Democrat Beto O’Rourke, who has drawn the support of several Robb Elementary parents but faces an uphill climb in Tuesday’s election.

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