There is an aspect of the Robb Elementary School mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, 2022, that is haunting and perhaps somewhat telling about the shooter.
Most shooters involved in such incidents target a school they were attending, had attended or had some other connection. Some were bullied at a school, some were the bullies themselves, and as far as the others go, we may never know what motivated them to take so many innocent lives.
However, linkage between the shooter and the school – such as in the 1999 Columbine High School shooting in Littleton, Colorado, as well as the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida – was present. But this was not the case for the Uvalde shooting.
It is eerily haunting that the shooter, Salvador Ramos, 18, while much older than his victims, sought to end the lives of so many younger, innocent children with whom, so far as we know, he had no connection. Did he randomly select Robb Elementary School as a killing field or was there some deep, dark motivation for him doing so? Was he affected by the thought he would trigger no resistance from these young children but might from high schoolers? As Ramos was killed by police, we will probably never know.
This leaves us to speculate on his motives. Only two reasons would seem to have any logic for such illogical conduct.
First is the possibility Ramos was simply evil incarnate. He obviously sought to inflict the maximum terror upon his victims that day, telling the trembling children after locking the classroom door, “you’re going to die.” It was as if he fed off of the fear he instilled in them.
Ramos was not raised in the best of families. His mother, father, grandfather and even his grandmother, with whom he was staying at the time, all had criminal records. His mother apparently raised him as a single mom. Does this suggest he targeted the younger children out of jealous rage, believing they were blessed with more loving and attentive parents? Having shot his grandmother in the face before departing for the school definitely suggests he was incapable of connecting with family members.
Second is the possibility Ramos suffered from severe mental illness. Nothing he did from the moment he shot his grandmother, to his drive to the elementary school during which time he shot at two other subjects, to his final display at the school showing a complete lack of concern for human life, makes any sense. Yet he also displayed moments of careful thinking – like asking his sister to buy a firearm for him when he was not yet 18. This was six months earlier. His sister refused to assist him.
Whenever there is a school shooting, many liberals rush to judgment on the solution, reissuing the call for gun control laws. The horror of the Uvalde massacre has already prompted Canada to impose a government freeze on the sale of firearms, seeking to ban future gun ownership.
An interesting parallel to U.S. school shootings is the number of deaths linked annually to drunk drivers. It is estimated drunk driving kills 28 people every day, or more than 10,000 lives each year. However, we can well assume one option not to be pursued to stop these senseless daily massacres on our highways by irresponsible drivers is putting a freeze on car ownership. So why then should we think banning all guns simply due to the irresponsible actions of a few will prevent such evildoers from not acquiring these weapons even if a gun sales freeze were implemented?
A recent U.S. poll reflects the fact most voters recognize anti-gun laws will not stop mass shootings. While 50% agree, 40% believe otherwise with the remaining 10% uncertain.
We have endured an era of school mass killings long enough that the public understands the solutions. They overwhelmingly support armed, adequately trained teachers. Recognizing the problem is long term, they also support hardening schools against such attacks.
Ramos, most likely, suffered from mental illness. He displayed many of the signs indicative of this – including cruelty to pets, being a loner, having a fetish for weapons (he owned at least two), etc. As comedian Joe Rogan points out, “this country has a mental health problem disguised as a gun problem.”
Despite emotional and desperate calls from liberals to ban certain guns, like the irresponsible DUI drivers whose vehicle becomes a deadly weapon once they drive it, the focus needs to be preventing access to the weapon. While a driving test will not screen out potential drunk drivers, there are written psychological tests, which with some modification, could prove very effective in screening out potential mass killers.
Take, for example, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), which is almost a century old – with numerous revisions/updates made to stay current. Today, it is the most widely used and researched clinical assessment tool used by mental health professionals to help diagnose mental health disorders. MMPI is structured so as to make deceit virtually impossible. It should be considered a requirement either for all gun purchasers or at least for students or other potential buyers who have been red-flagged.
The hypocrisy of liberals clamoring for a gun ban solution while also seeking to defund police has been obvious in the aftermath of the Uvalde shooting. They have condemned the police for not moving quickly enough to take Ramos out, yet had their defunding initiative been totally successful, there would not have been any police presence there to so act. In fairness to the police who delayed rushing the shooter, it now appears the 911 calls from victims inside the classroom were not being relayed to the on-scene police commander who therefore believed he was dealing with a hostage crisis and awaited a negotiator.
While school shootings were infrequent until the 1990s, with the 1999 Columbine HIgh School most notably ending that decade, Congress has done squat to establish an investigative committee to determine the root causes of mass school shootings. Between 2009-2018, 288 school shootings occurred. Twenty-three years since Columbine, children born after that tragedy are still dying as no investigative committee pursues root causes and logical solutions. Yet, a year ago this month, Congress quickly voted to establish a committee to investigate the January 6th riot.
Regrettably, Congress demonstrates it will act quickly for political gain but not to save children’s lives. Sadly, as a result, the Uvalde students will not be the last robbed of their childhood.
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