27th school shooting in the US - Biden vows to change gun laws
The latest tragedy in the United States, a shooting at a primary school in Uvalde, Texas, is the twenty-seventh school shooting in the country so far in 2022.
This horrendous event occurred just ten days after a shooter killed ten people in a Buffalo, New York supermarket.
According to the website 'Education Week,' which has been tracking school shootings since 2018, there have been a total of 119 shootings in American schools since tracking began.
In addition, the Gun Violence Archive, an independent data collection organization, reports that there have been 212 mass shootings in the United States so far this year.
So far, at least nineteen children and two teachers have died in the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. The primary school educates children between the ages of seven and ten.
Police investigators say that the shooter has been identified as Salvador Ramos, who entered the school and attacked students and teachers while armed with a handgun, an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, and high-capacity magazines.
According to Texas state senator Roland Gutierrez, 18-year-old Ramos reportedly shot his grandmother at home before crashing his car outside Robb Elementary School. He then ran into the school and began shooting. The teenage gunman was shot dead by the police at the scene of the crime.
Among the victims killed that have been named so far are Uziyah Garcia, aged eight, Xavier Javier Lopez, aged ten, and Jose Flores, also aged 10. A fourth-grade teacher at the school named Eva Mireles also died during the attack.
Eva Mireles's aunt spoke to the press, as reported by The Independent, who said she was "furious that these shootings continue," adding: "These children are innocent. Rifles should not be easily available to all."
It is clear that the United States has a problem with its gun control laws. On the evening of May 24, President Biden said that the "gun lobby" should be held responsible for the mass shootings in the US and made a call for new gun control laws.
Speaking from the White House, Biden said, "As a nation, we have to ask when in God's name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When in God's name will we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?"
The American President seemed upset and frustrated as he continued, "It's been 3,448 days — 10 years — since I stood up at… a grade school in Connecticut where another gunman massacred 26 people, including 20 first-graders at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. Since then, there have been over 900 incidents of gunfire reported on school grounds."
Biden continued mentioning that the list of mass shootings is much longer when you include the events that have occurred outside of schools. The President expressed his frustration with the situation, "I am sick and tired of it. We have to act. And don't tell me we can't have an impact on this carnage."
In his speech, Joe Biden expressed what many people outside of America often think when they learn about American gun laws: "The idea that an 18-year-old kid can walk into a gun store and buy two assault weapons, it's just wrong. What in God's name do you need an assault weapon for except to kill someone? Deer aren't running through the forest with Kevlar vests on, for God's sake."
Biden then took a moment to call out gun manufacturers, saying, "It's just sick. And the gun manufacturers have spent two decades aggressively marketing assault weapons, which make them the most and largest profit. For God's sake, we have to have the courage to stand up to the industry."
While Biden may be eager to make changes to the gun laws in the United States, it is much easier said than done. A ban on assault-style weapons or high-capacity magazines faces steep odds at the federal level.
However, there are some areas of bipartisan agreement. It is hard to say if that will be enough to make the changes the country needs. Only time will tell; however, if Biden somehow manages to improve gun laws in the US, he will accomplish what many presidents have attempted and failed at before.