Elementary school shooting in Uvalde, TX (19 students, 2 adults dead) unfortunately predictable

This s a photo of Kevin Seraaj, journalist and publisher of the Orlando Advocate
Kevin Seraaj, publisher, Orlando Advocate

Numbing. Once again an armed domestic terrorist has taken innocent lives in a school shooting with weapons he should not have had

Uvalde resident Salvador Romas, armed with a handgun and a rifle, first shot his grandmother, then left her house and headed to the Robb Elementary School where he started killing second, third and fourth grade kids. An entire community is crying and questioning why.

First accounts were that the 18-year old Romas had killed 14 students and a teacher. That number turned out to be higher.

Romas’ subsequent death at the hands of police may represent his payment for the crime committed, but it in no way eases or diminishes the pain felt by the many family members, relatives and friends who will suffer the loss of so many children for the rest of their lives.

Gun Money vs The Continuing Loss of Innocent Lives

According to The New England Journal of Medicine, firearms became the leading cause of death in 2020 for children and adolescents in the U.S. We are more in love with our guns– and gun money political contributions– than we are with our kids.

American is replete with instances of people killing students and teachers in schools. See HERE for a history of school shootings beginning as early as 1734 and continuing through the year 2010. None of them however were as horrific as the Columbine High School shooting of 1999, where 18-year-old Eric Harris and 17-year-old Dylan Klebold killed 12 fellow students and a teacher, and wounded 27 others before turning their guns on each other at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.

On December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, 20-year-old domestic terrorist Adam Lanza shot and killed 26 people– twenty of whom were children between six and seven years old. The other six were adult staff members. Earlier that day, Lanza shot and killed his mother at their Newtown home. Lanza committed suicide by shooting himself at the school.

In 2018, 19-year-old domestic terrorist Nikolas Cruz opened fire on students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, murdering 17 people and injuring 17 others.

These are just the most deadly of school shooting encounters in recent years.

President Biden issued a statement condemning the shooting and calling for bipartisan support of meaningful gun control laws. I for one have no expectation that such a coming together is even remotely possible.

Republicans are by and large the party of guns. They used to say “we need guns because the bad guys have guns.” Now it’s more honestly, “we need guns because we like how they make us feel.” This latest assault on our children was both predictable and preventable. Are children of Republicans not also dying in these events?

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How is it that the Supreme Court can denounce the killing of kids in the uterus and do nothing about the killing of kids in the schools?

Lawmakers must be forced to address the question: How do these teenaged killers come to be in possession of these guns? Where did 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz get his weapons? The legal age to buy a weapon in the state of Florida is 21, so who bought those guns? The net of personal responsibility must be widened and people who make guns available to anyone not allowed to buy a weapon on their own should be culpable for the harm later done.

We are collectively tearful and appalled by the violence visited upon our schools, where our children are sent to learn in safe and secure facilities. We raise our voices in indignation and demand that lawmakers do something– anything– to stem the tide of violence that takes away our young. Then we vote those same people back into office after they renege on their promises, and more children die in school.

According to The Gun Violence Archive, an independent data collection organization, there have been 212 mass shootings in the country so far this year. Look here. A mass shooting is defined as an incident in which four or more people were shot or killed, not including the shooter. Bet you didn’t know that.

The U.S. ended 2021 with 693 mass shootings, per the Gun Violence Archive. The year before there were 611. And in 2019 there were 417.

The number is on the increase– just like the number of available guns. We know what we have to do to stop this, but we lack the collective political will.

There will be another mass shooting in a school. That’s not pessimism– it’s statistics. The only question is when. And when it happens the same lawmakers will make the same expressions of surprise, issue the same press releases, go through the same empty motions and then be re-elected by the very people still burying their young.

Too bad for all the kids stuck in class.