Is this the deadliest school shooting since Sandy Hook Elementary?
On May 25th, nineteen children were dropped off at Robb Elementary in Uvalde. Some of them started their day with reading, others started it with math. None of them would make it home that night. This could describe the morning of the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting, but it doesn’t. That’s a problem.
This could also describe many incidents of mass shootings in the U.S. and that’s the bigger problem. We can no longer judge the horror of such a violent event by its simple existence. Instead, we have enough data to start making comparisons.
This may or may not be the deadliest shooting since Sandy Hook Elementary. What happened there should’ve been the end of the gun control debate. Instead, we stand here once again mourning the unnecessary deaths of children. When will it end?
On December 14th, 2012, twenty-year-old Adam Lanza shot & killed twenty-six people. Twenty of them were children as young as six years old. As help arrived for those still fighting for dear life, Lanza ended his own by committing suicide with a self-inflicted gun wound.
The Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting should’ve been the final straw. The country cried out for comprehensive gun control laws. We were shocked that such evil could take place in what was supposed to be the safety of elementary school walls.
Yet, the mass shooting at Robb Elementary is a stark reminder. For all the discussions sparked by the horrific incident, national action was not taken. This is the price. Innocent children have once again paid the price for the inaction of the adults around, people who were supposed to protect them.
This country is in desperate need of gun control. The Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting was the deadliest example. The Robb Elementary school shooting is the most recent example. All the lives taken by people who never should’ve had access to guns are an example.
However, we live in the U.S. where too many people honor their gun rights more than human life. North Dakota native Salvador Ramos turned eighteen and immediately bought two assault rifles. Within eight days, he had opened fire on his own grandma as well as opening fire on Robb Elementary.
Rental companies don’t trust people with cars unless they’re at least twenty-five. Alcohol consumption is prohibited for anyone under the age of twenty-one. Yet, Ramos was able to buy & use two assault rifles almost as soon as he turned eighteen. This country needs to sort out its priorities before more places like Sandy Hook Elementary see another school shooting.
Ramos killed nineteen children and two teachers. He even fired on his own grandmother before using his newly-bought assault rifles to inflict violence on Robb Elementary. There have been almost 200 mass shootings in 2022 alone, but the ones involving children undoubtedly feel worse.
The comparisons to the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting make sense. However, it also feels worse. Back then, people were at least hopeful enough to think the sheer loss of children’s lives would make a difference. We were hopeful that the country may finally pull it together and make nationwide gun laws.
Today, we’re not as hopeful. There’s very little belief in the system making lasting change. There’s even less belief in the government being interested in protecting its people and that’s the biggest problem of all.
The deadliest consequence of all is the eventual apathy in the face of children dying. The nationwide response to the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting didn’t spark gun control laws. Rather, it sparked people to realize the usual cycle post-mass shooting.
Many people send thoughts & prayers. Some of them demand gun control, and others insist on the need for more people with guns. Everyone yells at their local politicians to do something. The event of human tragedy becomes a sensational debate topic and then nothing changes.
This can’t be more of the same, though. How we respond to the Robb Elementary school shooting shouldn’t be the same as how we responded to the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting. We need action, we need change, and we desperately need it now – for ourselves and for each other.
California Governor Gavin Newsom has introduced a gun bill. Senator Beto O’Rourke interrupted a press conference to personally lay the blame of Robb Elementary at the feet of Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Somehow, though, it’s not enough. More politicians need to stand up!
This country can’t handle any more mass shootings. We need people who claim to be for us to climb out of the pockets of the National Rifle Association and start doing their jobs. If they care so much about protecting the children, then they need to realize guns are much more of a problem than the LGBTQIA+ community. Just ask the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting.