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Editor's Viewpoint

US must act on gun law before next school massacre



Law enforcement at the scene of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School

Law enforcement at the scene of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School

Getty Images

Law enforcement at the scene of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School

One more school can be added to the ever growing list. Robb Elementary School, Uvalde, Texas, Tuesday, May 24 2022, 21 dead, among that number 19 schoolchildren.

In the sheer number of young lives lost it’s one of the biggest in US history. Nineteen children sent off to school for a normal day by their parents who will never come home. Two teachers died alongside them in a classroom which was barricaded by the shooter. Before most of them died, they’d watched their friends gunned down and knew what was coming, The horror of what they went through is unimaginable, and the horror the families will live with for the rest of their lives equally so.

And still America sits back and shrugs its shoulders, content to let the gun lobby have its way, maintain the right to bear arms.

There will be debate, both sides of the debate will make their points, sometimes bitterly, then the next school shooting is added to the roll call of shame.

The consequences of sitting back and doing nothing is plain for the rest of the world to see. Only in the USA is there such a number of tragedies in schools.

While the short-sighted USA tries to be a policeman to the world, it can’t see any further than the length of its own nose.

This year alone — and we’re not even six months into 2022 — there have been 27 school shootings in America and 212 mass shootings around the country.

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So common have they become that the wider world only hears about the ‘big ones’ these days.

If the USA is so keen to tell the rest of the world how to behave, perhaps it should put its own house in order before attempting to do so?

The thoughts of the world will go out to the families who have suffered in the latest mass shooting. But the thoughts of the world will also be on why, after so many years and so many killings, is it still allowed to happen? The gun lobby will say ‘guns don’t kill people, people do’. But surely allowing free and easy access makes the job so much easier.

The unnecessary gravestones of innocents should haunt those all the way through the House of Representatives, the Senate and on to the White House. They have the power to make a difference, but so far have refused to wield it as freely as whose who carry a gun into school.

“Why do we keep letting this happen?” asked President Biden. “Why are we willing to live with this carnage?”

Perhaps he should ask the mothers of those 10-year-old kids who have died what the answer is.

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