25 maggio 2022 15:46
On May 24, another shooting took place in the United States in which 19 children and two adults were killed. A few days after the Buffalo massacre, when a gunman killed ten people in a supermarket, Salvador Rolando Ramos, recently turned eighteen, opened fire at Robb elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, after seriously injuring grandmother. Ramos had attended elementary school in the institute and was killed by the police.
The death toll is the worst since the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre in Newton, Connecticut, when 27 people, including 20 children, lost their lives. If it was the racist conspiracy theories of “ethnic substitution”, according to which blacks are replacing whites in the United States, that arming the hand of Payton Gendron, in Buffalo, the motive for this massacre is not yet clear, but the episode is provoking the debate, recurrent in the country, on the ease with which it is possible to buy weapons.
Three hundred million weapons, one for each inhabitant
On New York Times, Nicholas Kristof takes stock of the amount of weapons legally held in the United States: there are more than 300 million, at least one per inhabitant, including babies. And analyzing the relationship between the number of weapons in the various states and the incidence of murders, he draws a conclusion: fewer weapons means fewer violent deaths. Kristoff also questions the predictability of mass massacres and how to free himself from the grip of the arms lobby, a difficult mission. Referring to the role of the arms industry, US President Joe Biden said: “I am tired of these episodes, we must act to stop the shooting. Gunmakers have aggressively advertised assault weapons for twenty years. For God’s sake, we must have the courage to stand up. Where is our courage? ”, Reports Michael Shear also in the New York Times.
Lo Houston Chronicles criticizes the speech of Texas Governor Greg Abbott, steeped in the rhetoric of the never again, that is never again, criticizing in particular the adjective “incomprehensible” used by Abbott to describe the massacre, an act of cowardice, considering the political choices of the governor regarding the possession of weapons. The editorial invites Texans not to be fooled: “Fight. Your most powerful weapon is the vote ”.
Also the Texas Tribune attacks the line of the Republican leaders of Texas on the issue of firearms: always in favor, in words, to take action against violence, immediately after a mass shooting, but unwilling to take serious measures to limit, even minimally, the circulation of weapons , write Kate McGee and Jolie McCullough. As of November 5, 2009, the date of the Fort Hood massacre, in which 13 people died and 31 were injured, seven other mass shootings have occurred in Texas, for a total of 108 victims.
“After every shooting, lawmakers have always loosened restrictions on the carrying of firearms,” explains another analysis Texas Tribune. The series of more consistent openings began in 2016, with the “open carry”, Which allowed license holders to carry weapons in plain sight, abolishing the obligation to keep them hidden in public places. Also in the same year, the right to carry weapons, as long as they were hidden, on campuses, dormitories and university classrooms of the state was extended. In 2019, the limit on the number of armed officers on duty in schools was removed, and the right to carry weapons in places of worship was established: lawmakers considered this measure necessary after the shooting in the Sutherland Springs Baptist Church, costing the life to 26 people.
Perhaps the most controversial measure approved by Abbott is the permitless carry, of 2021. The law allows anyone over the age of 21 to carry a pistol in public without the need for a firearm license or training course. Previously, you had to file your fingerprints, complete a six-hour training and pass a theory and shooting exam. This provision was also passed thanks to the vote of some democratic politicians. Texas then passed the law known as the “Second Amendment Sanctuary,” to protect the state from any possible federal tightening on weapon ports. A symbolic move, according to experts, which nevertheless strengthens the positioning of state authorities.
“National suicide is consumed massacre after massacre”, writes the Los Angeles Timesciting Abraham Lincoln’s first public speech that no external enemy would ever be able to destroy the young country: the only real danger to the United States can only be an internal enemy.
Il Washington Post reconstructs the profile of Ramos, an 18-year-old with obvious relationship problems according to friends and relatives interviewed by Robert Klemko, Silvia Foster-Frau and Shawn Boburg, bullied in elementary school due to a speech disorder.