The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
After yet another slaughter, the free arms trade has returned to the center of debates in the United States. On May 24, at least 19 children and two adults were killed at Robb Elementary in the south Texas town of Uvalde, after an 18 years old boy entered the school with a gun and began shooting.
The shooter was identified as Salvador Ramos, who hours before the massacre posted on social media that he would open fire at the scene. So, at around 11:30 am (1:30 pm GMT) that’s what he did, the young man entered the school with a rifle and a pistol, where he shot at students and teachers. Soon after, after exchanging gunfire with police, he was killed, according to Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas.
This attack was the deadliest in the United States since 14 teenagers and 3 adults were murdered at a high school in Parkland, Florida in 2018, and the worst in an elementary school since Sandy Hook, Connecticut in 2012, which killed 20 children and 6 employees.
The United States finds itself amid a particular annual increase in gun violence. According to surveys carried out by the Gun Violence Archive, this month alone there have been 5 attacks in different states of the country, which left a total of 12 dead. The most recent shooting took place on June 16, this one at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, located in the Vestavia Hills neighborhood of Alabama, where two people were killed and one injured. With the new attacks, the country now has a total of 270 dead in shootings in the year 2022 alone.
The gun law debate returns to the US
As of the beginning of the year, more than 20,000 people have died from gun violence in the United States so far, as the Gun Violence Archive points out, including deaths by suicide. Thus, once again discussions about broader gun control in the United States are resumed.
In the country, the right to individual bear arms is guaranteed in the US Constitution from the Second Amendment, which came into force in 1789. The text places “a well-regulated militia being necessary for the security of a free State, the right of people to keep and bear arms must not be infringed”.
After more than two centuries, the effects are clearly visible.
The United States has about 330 million inhabitants, while the amount of firearms present in its territory is almost 400 million. However, just over a third of families in its population actually own a gun, according to 2017 data from the General Social Survey.
US President Joe Biden said in a statement that “it is time to act” against lobbying by gun companies in the country after the Texas school tragedy. Since assuming the presidency of the country, he has advocated against the sale of weapons and is calling for greater federal control over the issue. Last year, Biden even presented a proposal limiting access, but the issue in the country is quite polarized.
According to psychologist Any Carolina Ribeiro Silva, access to weapons is a facilitator for people with mental problems to commit atrocities like these. She says: “This issue needs to be urgently discussed, always preventively, and never talking about the shooter, or the gun, but how important your life and the other’s life is because that’s what people need to hear.”
Gun attack in Brazil
In Brazil, there were 8 attacks on schools in the last 10 years
Despite the low number of cases, they do exist. Known as the biggest armed attack in Brazilian schools, the massacre at Professor Raul Brazil State School, in Suzano (SP), left ten dead among students and staff. Dozens of shots were fired by former students Guilherme Taucci Monteiro, 17, and Luiz Henrique de Castro, 25, during recess.
According to the health professional, these massacres can be contagious, and the “imitation phenomenon” is closely linked to the acts, since cases that reverberate in the networks are triggers for others, and if they are not discussed, the number of cases will only increase. Although situations like these are not frequent in Brazil, this occurrence of events influences individuals to commit these atrocities, not only here, but all over the world. She also adds that bullying can also leverage such performances.
“We’re talking about mental health. What we observe is that these people were or felt attacked, sometimes they don’t feel protected, and then they seek to take justice into their own hands. These people give evidence of this exacerbated violence, but the surroundings tend to avoid noticing this kind of thing. People despise mental health”, completes Any Carolina Ribeiro Silva.
The article above was edited by Camila Nascimento.
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