Probably a lot more. The collective shock and grief has long since been replaced by a zombie mindset of depraved acceptance. Nothing will change, unless there is a major upheaval in Congress, so better to adapt. Better memorize what your kids wear every morning, in case they get dejected beyond easy identification during science class. It’s best to practice “silent play” and ask yourself if your kindergartner realizes that if it’s not a game at all, the price of winning is to survive.
“I’m fed up and I’ve had enough,” said President Biden, who noted that – in the nearly 10 years that have passed since the massacre of 20 freshmen and six adults at Newtown, Conn. – “There have been over 900 reported shooting incidents on school property.
Consider how unshocked you are by all of this. The wider damage is how it feels expected, even inevitable. It is the gradual, bloodless slaughter of all of us.
The grief and pageantry in the aftermath of a horrific mass shooting is sadly familiar in America (from 2012)
A 2018 Quinnipiac University Survey taken shortly after the Parkland shooting, 45% of registered voters nationwide said they personally feared being the victim of a mass shooting. Another poll, conducted around the same time by the Pew Research Center, found that 57% of teens were worried about the possibility of a school shooting. In both polls, concern was higher among black and Hispanic respondents.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) visited Robb Elementary in Uvalde and said what we needed to do was “strengthen the schools” — starting, perhaps, by restricting their doors. “A door that goes in and out of the school,” Cruz said.
“Is it time to reform gun laws?” a British reporter from Sky News asked Cruz the next day, and the senator’s face turned dark and exasperated. Now was not the time for politics, Cruz said.
“But why does this only happen in your country?” the reporter, Mark Stone, asked Cruz. “I really think that’s what a lot of people around the world just – they can’t understand. Why only in America?
Cruz called the reporter a “propagandist” and ended the interview.
“I’m in Ukraine, a war zone,” Politico reporter Christopher Miller tweeted in the hours following the shooting. “Russian attacks are constant, airstrikes hit Ukrainian cities overnight. But the first two Ukrainians I saw when I woke up today asked me about the shooting at an elementary school in Texas where a gunman killed 19 children.
“Why?” the Ukrainians asked him. “How?”
The Lieutenant Governor of Texas had an answer and a solution. “We are in a sick society,” Dan Patrick said on Fox News, and we can only be healed by “turning to God.”
Last week, the company that made the gun used by Uvalde’s shooter tweeted a photo of a toddler with a semi-automatic rifle on his little lap. “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he’s old he won’t stray from it,” the tweet read, quoting the Book of Proverbs. After shooting, the company released a statement saying he would keep the families of the victims in his thoughts and prayers.
Greg Abbott, the Republican governor of Texas, saw the bright side of the situation. “The reality is that, as horrible as what happened, it could have been worse,” he told a news conference.
“You said it wasn’t predictable,” Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke (D) Abbott chided as he interrupted the press conference. “It’s totally predictable when you choose to do nothing.”
“I can’t believe you’re a sick son of a bitch who would make a deal like this to make a political question,” the mayor of Uvalde shot back from the stage.
The nation had gone 10 days without a major mass shooting.
“America,” tweeted comedian Daniel Van Kirk, “where you only need half mast.”
Memorials and funerals for the victims of the May 14 shooting in Buffalo were unfolding as families in Uvalde waited to have their cheeks swabbed so the erased bodies of their children could be identified.
Some members of the media began debating this week whether showing pictures of these dead children could shake America out of its amazement. Could we be spurred to action if we showed dead and bloody children on their school floors?
“It’s time, courtesy of a surviving parent, to show what a shot 7-year-old looks like,” tweeted David Boardman, who heads Temple University’s School of Journalism.
We saw what their parents looked like.
Jittery cellphone video, taken at the time of the shooting, showed Uvalde’s parents pleading with police in the parking lot outside the elementary school to rescue the children inside who were be murdered.
Fifty-nine seconds into the video, a woman can be heard shouting, “My daughter! His voice is raw. Eighty-seven seconds later, a policeman tells the group of parents that they are “taking care of” the situation. A man replies that the shooter “is not dead yet”. A woman tells officers that her son is inside the school. “If they have a chance, shoot him or something, f—!” she says. “I’ll go, I’ll go.” Two minutes into the video, there are unfinished moans. The parents fell to their knees on the sidewalk. The parents collapsed in the parking lot screaming.
This week, students from Fairfax County in Shaker Heights, Ohio, to Essex Junction, Vt., staged walkouts from their school to protest political inaction on guns.
This week, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr pounded the table at a pregame press conference, excoriated Republican senators for refusing to accept an audit bill. background passed last year by the House of Representatives and yelled, “We can’t get numb to this!” and “That’s pathetic!” and “I’ve had enough!”
Meanwhile, the stock prices of America’s largest gun and ammunition makers have climbed this week: Smith & Wesson Brands 8.4%; 12% for Ammo Inc.
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper traveled to Uvalde and interviewed a medical professional named Angel Garza, who described arriving at the scene of the shooting and encountering a little girl covered “from the head at the feet” of blood. He asked her if she was hurt and she said no, but her best friend had been shot and killed trying to call the police. Garza asked the girl for her friend’s name. It was Amerie. It was Garza’s 10-year-old daughter.
“That’s how you learned,” Cooper said. Eleven seconds of silence followed, punctuated only by Garza’s sob.
Garza told Cooper that the phone Amerie used to try to call the police was a birthday present she got two weeks prior. He said she had always been afraid of strangers and that a shooting would have been the thing she feared most. He said she was a good girl. He said she always listened to her mother and father. He said she always brushed her teeth.
America: where last year, 52% of adults supported stricter gun control, according to Gallup, leaving nearly half who want either less strict laws or the status quo.
America: where residents own more guns per 100 people than any other country in the world: 120.5, more than double the second highest country of Yemen.
America: where there are more guns than people.
On the same day as the Uvalde shooting, a 14-year-old in Boulder, Colorado was arrested for threatening to shoot a college student.
On the same day as the Uvalde shooting, a sophomore in Sacramento brought a gun and a bullet loader to school. The weapons were found and confiscated “largely due to the bravery and conscientiousness of students who came forward and alerted staff,” the Sacramento School District wrote to parents, urging everyone to “work together and to use this incident as a reminder of the importance of ‘See something, say something.’ ”
On Wednesday morning, less than 24 hours after the Uvalde shooting, a Dallas suburban business owner saw a teenager walking past the Petco and Target, holding what looked like a gun, heading for Berkner High School . The police were dispatched. Neighboring schools have been alerted. In the teen’s car, officers found what appeared to be an AK-47 style pistol and a replica AR-15 style rifle. The teenager was arrested and charged with illegally carrying a weapon in a school zone.
A Prince George’s County high school was closed for nearly two hours on Thursday after police were alerted to a student with a gun on campus.
Prince George’s County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks summed up this never-ending moment in America: “These are horrible times we live in.”