When will the killings stop?


Vivian DePina, Reporter

When will killings stop, and why do these massacres keep happening?

Many have asked these questions, especially after a tragedy, such as the two that have occurred so close together. Buffalo and Uvalde. 

To look into why, you can see that there is a twisted truth. There are killings that take place on the bias of race or nationality, that are rampant in the white supremacy movement. Others that happened due to the mental health of the perpetrator  put guns into the hands of those who wield it out of hate and bias.

In Buffalo, the mass shooting was committed with racial bias. An 18 year gunman traveled over 200 miles to commit this rampage. He live streamed the act. 13 people were shot and of those 13, 10 are dead. Buffalo’s Mayor, Byron Brown,  said the suspect arrived in his city intending to take “as many black lives as possible”.

A 180-page document seemingly authored by the alleged attacker Payton Gendron has emerged, in which he describes himself as a fascist and a white supremacist.

Another 18 year old committed an atrocity, but this time against children. Robb Elementary school contains children in the grades of 2, 3, and 4. An 18 year old gunman The 18-year-old gunman, Salvador Ramos, had attended Uvalde High School. He began his rampage by killing his grandmother, and then took his grandmother’s car, entering Robb Elementary from the back door on campus. Of those killed, 19 were students in the same fourth grade classroom. Two adults were also killed. An additional 17 people were injured in the rampage. 

Often in the documented massacres such as Sandy Hook Elementary and Columbine High School, we have so many questions.  “Why would someone so young cause so much death in such a way?”

In both of these prior horrific events, the  teens had tell-tale signs of concern.

On December 14, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, the second largest school shooting in US history, Adam Lanza killed 20 first graders and six school employees before turning a gun on himself. Earlier that day, he killed his mother at the home they shared. 

At COlumbine High School in Littleton, Colorado on April 20th, 1999, 18 year-old Eric Harris and 17 year old Dylan Klebold, 17. dressed up in trench coats, entered through the school cafeteria at 11:19. students everywhere across America, sitting in classrooms, offices, houses, ect, were watching the tragedy in real time. This school shooting left 15 dead including the two gunmen.’

Both tragedies were caused by teens who were a part of the communities they targeted. 

You might ask, Why are you bringing this up? Why are you bringing light to shootings that happened in the past and not putting a full spotlight on the two shootings that have taken place.

I give you this: Why do these tragic events keep happening? Why haven’t law makers done things to prevent it, and why are we the only country to have this many mass shootings?

It is due to the inaction, the lack of care for human life, and the large amount of greed for wealthy lawmakers and those in the gun market in a capitalist society we have made for ourselves.

 “What are we doing?” asked Senator Chris Murphy. “There have been more mass shootings than days in the year. Our kids are living in fear. Every single time they step foot in the classroom, because they think they are going to be next. What are we doing?”

Murphy slammed the Senate’s inaction. Americans are wondering what can be done and what can we do to stop these killings.

There are in fact many things that can be done.

  • We need to keep ammo separate from their firearms.
  • We must have universal criminal and mental background checks a requirement to own a gun.
  • We must demand justification for gun ownership.
  • We must have strict open-carry laws.
  • Gun owners must have a clean record.
  • We must have a two week waiting period even at gun shows.
  • We must have traceability of arms ownership, and demand  have proper training. 

In Switzerland, there are high rates of gun ownership and almost zero gun violence. There is mandatory service where training, including in a rifle, is given. There are policies in place that if you are given a gun by a family member you still have to tell the police and fill out paperwork. You apply for a permit with the police, you provide clearance of a personal record to show you don’t have any convictions, no matter how small, and you wait two weeks to be cleared and get your license.

After the single mass shooting that happened in the Swiss Parliament in 2001, the Swiss put into place some very strict, yet common sense legislation.

“If you can’t be responsible for following some other simple rules in society to behave, why should you have a gun?” said a prominent Green Party Lisa Mazzone. 

And yet, there are those in our country who say there is nothing that can be done to stop the violence.  They seem incapable of seeing the possibilities, and the consequences of not having policies in place and gun reform. Not only that but there is a high market for guns and lawmakers and gun manufacturers are scared for a loss of money. Money is more important than human life. 

 “For Uvalde,” said Arianna Selland, “I am astonished by how the police decided to handle things. And so disappointed. I heard that the police were nearby and didn’t stop it from happening. Honestly the government needs to take action on gun control. Like have you looked at other countries and their shootings? The US has quadruple the amount than any other country. It’s ridiculous. This country sucks at protecting human rights”

for others, it points to a lack of conviction.

“For both (Uvalde and Buffalo) it’s still going on,” said Taralyn Rickels,  “especially after the other mass shootings. I it just shows that the government isn’t focusing on what they need to do. And are focusing on what they need and not what the people need.”