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Friday, July 1, 2022

Ignoring Uvalde Equates to Muting Local Safety

If we elect to allow the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas to slip from our memories, the May 24th school shooting easily becomes another headshaking tragedy for the history books. We live in a world where even law enforcement may struggle with how to handle active shooters. A shiny badge and gun worn on a hip is not always enough to deter criminal behavior. Per The Texas Tribune, “It took officers over an hour after the shooter went inside to kill the gunman, during which time distressed parents gathered outside the school and begged police officers to enter.”

 A culmination of fear and rampant societal ills can leave officials grasping for straws about how to clean less blood-stained sidewalks. When violence strikes, a string of praying hands often line up under a tragic story shared on social media. Until the next episode about violence unfolds, the hot topic shifts to celebrity gossip or a hip dance craze. Who wants to contact legislators to press them for change? What difference can one message make anyway?

In the seventies, a heap of supervised boys used BB guns, yet gun violence was nothing like this.  And in the previous generations, kids who broke rules could be corrected by people other than their parents. Today, we need more bulletproof doors and Ring Video Doorbells. Violent video games are a dime a dozen. Mentioning God is off limits in public school unless death is drawing near.

The Christian Post raised awareness about Ellie Garcia’s tragic end. The 9-year-old who was one of 19 children who lost her life in the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde mentioned religion in school, before her last breaths were taken. It took an 18-year-old gunman to make it acceptable. 

 “Hey, guys. I just wanted to give you a little catch-up. Jesus. He died for us. So when we die, we’ll be up there with Him. In my room, I have three pictures of Him,” Ellie said calmly in a Tik Tok video.

Before many of us knew where Uvalde was, details of the Columbine High School massacre in 1999 faded away, but statistics of a troubled society did not.

 Gun Violence Archive (GVA) tweeted that startling preliminary numbers of gun-related incidences transpired on Memorial Day Weekend. The nonprofit revealed that 179 people were killed in the United States; 463 were injured and 15 mass shootings occurred. According to information provided on GVA’s website, “free online public access to accurate information about gun-related violence in the United States” is provided by the “not for profit corporation formed in 2013.” And sadly, a mass shooting via GVA is defined by four or more people who were “shot or killed.” The shooter is not included in this number. 

If we keep pushing each horrible incident aside, we never know who or where could be next. Changes in morals and legislation must come or another tragedy like what occurred Uvalde could be closer than we would want to imagine.

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