The Texas shooting adds to a long list of armed attacks on educational institutions in the United States

The attack, carried out Tuesday by an 18-year-old boy identified by authorities as Salvador Ramos at an elementary school in the Texas city of Uvalde, adds to a long list of shootings at educational centers across the United States, without the authorities having achieved anything to curb this problem.

Ramos, 18, broke into Robb Elementary School with a gun, killing at least 21 people including 19 children, although the death toll could rise in the coming hours as several of the injured remain hospitalized.

The Texas shooting adds to a long list of armed attacks on educational institutions in the United States
The Texas shooting adds to a long list of armed attacks on educational institutions in the United States

The shooting is the second deadliest in a school in the United States after the December 14, 2012 execution at the Sandy Hook School in Newton, Connecticut. The attack by Adam Lanza, 20, left 27 dead.

Lanza, who had previously murdered his mother in her home, killed 21 children between the ages of six and seven and six adults, including four teachers, the director and the center’s psychologist. He later committed suicide upon seeing the police arrive at the scene.

However, the shooting that has claimed more lives at an American education center took place on April 16, 2007 in Blacksburg, Virginia, where Seung Hui Cho, a student at Virginia Tech, killed 32 classmates and faculty members in two attacks on the campus before committing suicide.

The Blacksburg incident surpassed the August 1966 attack by student and former Marine Charles Whitman, who killed 15 and wounded 31 at the University of Texas before dying at the hands of police. He had previously murdered his wife and mother.

Incidents of this type are relatively common in the North American country, but it was the one recorded on April 20, 1999 at the Columbine Institute in Colorado that raised alarm due to the high death toll. In this case, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, students at the center, killed twelve students and one teacher.

The event, which became what was then the deadliest school attack in American history, sparked a wave of copycat events and linked the Columbine name to the nation’s ongoing gun and crime problems.

The latest attack in Texas also tops the list of victims of the February 2018 shooting in Parkland, Florida, where Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people at the Stoneman Douglas Institute.

Cruz, 19, who was expelled from the center for his behavior, managed to escape the facility by posing as a student fleeing the attack and was later arrested in a nearby residential area.

In contrast, the May 2018 attack on an institute in Santa Fe, Texas, claimed ten lives. The person responsible, identified as Dimitrios Pagourtzis, was a student at the center who was later arrested by the police.

Other violent incidents include the March 2005 attack on a Red Lake high school in Minnesota, which killed five students, a teacher and a security guard. Gunman Jeff Weise had previously killed his grandfather and partner at their home.

A school shooting in Texas, USA, kills 19 children and two adults

In a later incident, Christoher Harper-Mercer, 26, killed eight students and a teacher in an October 2015 attack at a high school in Roseburg, Oregon, after which he killed himself after a shootout with US Army security personnel deployed at the scene.

Also among the ten fatalities are the October 2006 attacks in Nickle Mines, Pennsylvania, where Charles Carl Roberts IV kidnapped and shot ten Amish girls, killing five of them before committing suicide.

Likewise, in November 2014, 43-year-old Kevin Neal rammed his vehicle into an elementary school in Rancho Tehama, California before opening fire at the center, killing five adults and committing suicide during the chase.

The attack on the Robb School is thus a reflection of the little progress made by US authorities in the decade since the Sandy Hook massacre, and also comes less than two weeks after an 18-year-old supporter of supremacist theories murdered ten African Americans in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.

In fact, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned in April that guns had become the number one killer of children and young people in the North American country, even before car accidents.

A study conducted by University of Michigan researchers using data from the CDC, which collects figures from 2020, concluded that 45,222 people died in armed incidents that year, including about 4,300 under the age of 19, an increase compared to the previous year, at 29.5 percent, represents more than twice the relative increase in the general population.

For its part, the database maintained by the nonprofit research group Gun Violence Archive shows that more than 23,000 people, including about 1,650 children and youth, were killed or injured in gun-related incidents in the United States that year.

In this vein, former President Barack Obama has emphasized that “nearly ten years after Sandy Hook and ten days after Buffalo, the country is paralyzed, not by terror, but by a gun lobby and a political party — referring to the Republicans — that does not Have shown a willingness to act in any way to prevent this type of tragedy.”

“Some action should have already been taken, any kind of action. It’s another tragedy, a quieter one but no less tragic, for families who have to wait another day,” he said on his Twitter account, before acknowledging that rural families “are worried about what tomorrow will bring.” could happen when they take their children to school, to the grocery store, or to any other public space”.

Current White House tenant Joe Biden has stated that “it’s time to act” to regulate firearms. “When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?” “Watch your friends die like you’re on a battlefield.”

“This type of mass shooting is rare in other parts of the world. Why are we willing to live with this slaughter? Why do we keep allowing it to happen?”

In this sense, the Archbishop of San Antonio, Gustavo Garcia-Siller, has called on the authorities to work with the population to put an end to this situation, which he describes as “too burdensome”. “These massacres cannot be seen as the new normal,” he said.

“The Catholic Church is consistently committed to protecting all life, and these mass shootings are the most pressing issue that needs action by everyone in society, both elected leaders and citizens,” he said, according to CNN.

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