A week after the shooting at a school in Uvalde, which shocked America, the small Texas town buries the first victims of this massacre on Tuesday, one of the worst in recent years in the country.
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The funeral of the 19 children and two teachers, who died on May 24 under the bullets of Salvador Ramos, barely 18 years old, will extend until mid-June.
The day before, relatives but also anonymous people had come to pay homage to her in front of her closed coffin, with dozens of photos and music, in a funeral home located just opposite the school where she was murdered.
The funeral of another victim, Maite Rodriguez, 10, will take place at 7:00 p.m. (midnight GMT). The little girl, who wanted to become a marine biologist, was “kind, charismatic, loving,” her mother Ana Rodriguez wrote on Facebook Thursday. “And above all, she was my best friend.”
“This horrible and insane nightmare, from which I cannot wake up, has absolutely destroyed and weakened my life and my heart,” she added.
Beyond the immense grief at the childlike faces of the victims, the residents of Uvalde have, like many Americans, expressed their anger and their incomprehension at the delay in the intervention of the police – even pushing the authorities to do their mea culpa.
Nineteen agents had remained in the corridor of the Robb primary school without intervening for almost three-quarters of an hour, while Salvador Ramos had locked himself in a room with the schoolchildren. The police eventually entered and killed the shooter.
This tragedy, like those that preceded it, has also awakened calls for stricter supervision of access to weapons, in this country which has more weapons than its inhabitants and regularly experiences deadly shootings.
Joe Biden got to hear them firsthand as he drove to Uvalde on Sunday, voices chanting, “do something!” as he passed.
The president “must pass laws so that we can protect children from AR-15s”, the semi-automatic weapon used at the Robb school, claimed Robert Robles, 73.
Ricardo Garcia, 47, who worked at Uvalde hospital on the day of the tragedy, said he was unable to “take the screaming out of (his) head of the mothers to whom the bad news was announced.”
“We must stop selling weapons, period,” he pleaded.
On Monday, Joe Biden vowed to “keep pushing” for tougher gun regulation.
“It doesn’t make sense to be able to buy something that can fire up to 300 rounds,” he said.
“I think things have gotten so bad that it makes everyone more rational on this subject,” hoped the Democratic president. He was speaking after a weekend again marked by a series of shootings that left several dead and dozens injured, tragedies that have become commonplace in the United States.
But moving from words to deeds will be difficult: the narrow majority of his party in Congress does not allow him to pass such legislation alone.
Any text will require a compromise with elected Republicans – traditionally more hesitant to legislate on the subject – in order to reach the necessary qualified majority.