Again! It happened again! Another angry, deranged, deluded teen with too much firepower pulled off a horrendous shooting at an elementary school in Texas. The grisly death toll: 19 children and two teachers in a fourth-grade classroom at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. There are others injured, and the final fatality figures might change.
One of the injured is the grandmother of the shooter. He lived with her. He shot her in the face before he went to the school to carry out his shooting plan. As I write this, she is gravely wounded and remains hospitalized. We are told she cannot communicate with authorities because of her condition.
One of the survivors, a 9-year old, told authorities that the shooter came into the classroom and said: “It’s time to die,” and began shooting.
In this case, the shooter/killer was 18-year-old Salvador Ramos. He clearly planned the killings – having recently purchased two rifles and an enormous amount of ammunition.
Before he began his rampage, he posted online that he was going to shoot his grandmother – then that he HAD shot her, and then he posted that he was going to go to an elementary school to shoot. He did just that.
There is a lot of confusion today concerning the sequence of events: when he entered the school and how he managed that, when the shooting began, when the authorities – police and Border Patrol agents – arrived, what they did and when – and of course, the end of the chaos with the death of the shooter and his victims. There are accusations that the police didn’t act soon enough, but while the investigation continues, the facts of the carnage do not change.
It’s a litany of horror that is being told and retold by the victims, witnesses, participants and, of course, the media. I listen to talk radio in the Bay Area, and being as liberal as it is, the gist of the comments focus on the issues of “too many guns,” gun control and the belief that Republicans are responsible for the proliferation of weapons used in such crimes.
They also are refusing to mention the name of the killer – piously claiming that they don’t want to give him the fame he presumably desired.
I’ll be honest with you. I don’t have any answers to prevent such horrors, but it is clear that something must be done to make our schools (and other facilities) safer, to have more people on scene who can handle such attacks and, perhaps most importantly, to get mental-health assessments of people who fit the profile of the perpetrators of these mass killings.
As it is now, in California at least, authorities cannot force anyone to get “mental help” for any reason. That presents a problem.
There is no doubt “gun control” will be in the headlines, but that is a battle in Washington that will have no real solution. There is the constitutional aspect of gun ownership, and while Democrats and Republicans will go round and round about that, I doubt it will be “resolved” to the satisfaction of either side.
The truth is, even if guns were banned tomorrow, there are millions of guns of all kinds already in the hands and homes of millions of Americans, the vast majority of whom will never use them for human killing. They want them for protection or hunting or target practice.
Every state has its own laws concerning gun ownership, and if you want to see how tight it can be, just check out the laws in California. There’s no question that if those laws were nationwide, a lot of the current loopholes would be closed. Whether it would make a difference in the minds of people who want to shoot to kill is debatable. You know the old saying, “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif.-5th District, speaking on KGO Radio this week, told the audience that Washington is receptive to having criminal background checks for purchasers of guns, but getting both the House and the Senate to agree on other policies is more difficult.
One such proposal concerns so-called “red flag laws” – allowing people to report a person to authorities if it’s believed that person might be a danger to others. Another is a law that would require safe storage for firearms, and another is a requirement to have the public notified if there is an active shooter in the area.
I don’t know about you, but I have no problem with such proposed legislation, but apparently, it is a problem getting them through the U.S. Senate.
So, call your senator!
A lot of people talk about the fact that England outlawed guns, but now they face the fact that their people are subject to hundreds of knife attacks by criminals.
The same thing happened in Australia after the government outlawed guns and had a massive gun confiscation nationwide. Now Aussies are left with continued crime, but in the form of knife attacks.
I don’t know about you, but the thought of being slashed with a knife creeps me out more than being shot. But I do understand that school attacks with a knife would be rare.
Should we have more armed police on campuses? Should teachers be armed? These are ideas that are being floated, but it remains to be seen how it all will turn out.
In the meantime, we are left with the horror of what has happened, the grief of the parents, families and friends, and the effect on schools and law enforcement.
And of course, the horrific question: When and where will it happen again?
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