Another school shooting makes the 23rd mass shooting with casualties in the United States this May, an average of almost one a day.
A teenager with a gun went from class to class through Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday, shooting children and staff. He killed nineteen children between between the ages of 8 and 13, as well as two teachers. Between seven and thirteen people are reported as having been taken to the hospital for injuries.
The story of Robb Elementary School is eerily familiar. The young shooter shot his grandmother at home, went to the school, engaged in a firefight with authorities who then waited outside for an hour while he barricaded himself inside the school and began his slaughter. He was trying to keep killing when a Border Patrol agent rushed into the school alone to engage him, killing the shooter.
Many will feel strong echoes in the news coverage around this story. Ten years ago, another young shooter killed his mom, went to nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School, where he killed twenty students and six adults before also dying at the scene. No one has ever known why that young man targeted the elementary school, and it’s too soon to know why Robb Elementary was targeted by this one.
President Biden addressed the country hours after the attack, in obvious distress and anger over yet another school shooting, the 60th since he took office.
“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 are we going to do what has to be done?” Biden asked. “Why are we willing to live with this carnage?”
It seems very possible that this attack was preventable. The shooter had been hinting on social media that an attack could be coming, including talking about the “assault weapons” he’d bought after his 18th birthday and suggestions that “the kids should watch out” without specifics. But no police contact had yet been made.
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