EDITORIAL: Shootings in the U.S.

EDITORIAL: Shootings in the US: Heart-wrenching Statistics

Unfortunately, deaths by indiscriminate shootings, has become a recurring theme in the life of the citizens of the United States. We are talking about those that occur by shooting someone for no apparent reason. That is to say, that there is no motive of theft, of dispute in a fight, of a terrorist attack, etc. It is simply a reaction to an emotional problem and of course, because the attacker had easy access to a firearm and in most cases, to shotguns and ammunition, so that the massacre is quicker and more lethal.

One of the last of these sad episodes happened in Chicago, on February 15, when a young man entered a factory where he had previously worked, killed four people and then was shot by police. The paradox of this is that just a few hours later President Trump declared a national emergency, because of the risks of an “invasion” on the border. When really the emergency we have, is inside our own borders.

The statistics are most impressive. The United States is a country with just over 326 million inhabitants and there are 393 million weapons in the hands of the population, according to a survey by “Small Arms Survey” on light weapons. These weapons represent 40% of the world total. We know that owning them is a right contemplated in the Second Amendment of the Constitution and a third of the adult population claims to have at least one, while around 11% say they do not have it, but in the future they would consider acquiring it.

There are several studies that link restrictions on weapons, with a decrease in the number of homicides, and although there has been increasing social pressure to restrict the arms trade, the truth is that the laws in the country have not been modified so far.

To show this sad situation, it is enough to know that since the beginning of the century, that is to say, in these 18 years according to the Washington Post, 220 shootings have been perpetrated in primary and secondary schools in the United States. Assaults cost the lives of 128 people and 258 were injured, most of them students. In addition, in 29 occasions, the shooter himself also died because he committed suicide.

The biggest recorded massacre was that of Sandy Hook School in a quiet Connecticut town on December 14, 2012. That morning, Adam Lanza, 20, killed 26 people: 20 children and six working adults in the center. He later took his own life.

The foolish shootings have not diminished; on the contrary, they have increased. Meanwhile, debates on gun control seem as though they never go anywhere, and the laws continue to not be modified. The mood in politicians to prioritize the issue is not noticeable. We think that there is only the path of peaceful self-defense, talking at the level of family, neighbors, classmates, work to raise awareness of the dangers of owning weapons at home, and to report any suspicion we have of any person with mental disorders, threats, postings in social networks, those who boast with weapons and others. Life is unique and you have to take care of it.
Jorge Alatrista
jorge@identidadlatina.com
Identidad Latina Newspaper Edition 404 February 2st1, 2019

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