An 18-year-old man shot and killed at least 19 students between the ages of 7 and 10 years old and two adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, after shooting his own grandmother on Tuesday. This is the deadliest school shooting America has seen since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012, which left 26 dead, and one of more than 200 mass shootings our country has seen this year so far.
The shooter, reportedly a local high school student named Salvador Ramos, was killed while being apprehended by police.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R)—who has an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association, is expected to speak at the NRA convention in Houston this Friday, and once openly lamented that Texas was only #2 in the nation for new gun purchases, behind California—confirmed the horrific death toll. Jezebel has reached out to the Uvalde police department for further info.
The Sandy Hook students who survived the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, nearly a decade ago are currently in high school. Of course, nothing has changed politically since then about the way this nation handles guns or the grip the NRA has on mostly Republican politicians. Even the mass shooting of children at school is not enough to move our government to do anything about guns.
As Jezebel’s Ashley Reese wrote after a school shooting in Detroit last year:
School shootings are so commonplace and even expected in this country now that younger Millennials and Zoomers have been subjected to active shooter drills for years; Oxford High School had a drill just last month. CNN spoke with students who recalled arming themselves with scissors and calculators in case the suspect entered their classrooms. They worked together to turn off the lights, bolt the doors shut, and turn their desks into a barricade.
Texas state Sen. Roland Gutierrez (D), who represents the area, told HuffPost in a statement that he’ll be providing resources—including grief counselors—to those in the “hardworking” Uvalde community.
“It’s a beautiful little town, small-town Texas. I just can’t imagine ... I am in shock for those parents and those families and the entire community,” Gutierrez told the publication. “My heart goes out to them.”
President Joe Biden also issued a call to action on Tuesday:
And Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who was serving in the House of Representatives during the Sandy Hook shooting in his state, excoriated his colleagues in a floor speech shortly after the shooting.
“Why are you here?” he asked. “Why do you spend all this time running for the United States Senate...if your answer, is as the slaughter increases, as our kids run for their lives—we do nothing?”
Murphy is right. When will the horrors be horrible enough to spark change? Is there any limit, or are parents expected to continue rolling the dice by sending their kids to school, knowing they may never see them again, because this country values the freedom to own a gun more than it values human life?
Imagine being a parent to one of those children at Robb Elementary today, wondering if your own child is one of the 14 currently in body bags. Enough.
This is a developing story.
Correction: An earlier version of this story said the shooter shot and killed his grandmother. She was wounded and airlifted to a hospital.