The list of schools bereaved by guns in the United States is growing. An 18-year-old opened fire on Tuesday, May 24 in an elementary school in Texas, killing 19 young students and at least two teachers, a tragedy that plunged America into a chronic nightmare, Joe Biden urging a start to regulate firearms.
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“It is time to turn pain into action,” insisted the American president, visibly moved, in a solemn address at the White House. “When, for God's sake, are we going to face the gun lobby? “, Launched Joe Biden, saying he was “sick and tired” in the face of the litany of school shootings. “Losing a child is like having a part of your soul ripped away from you ,” he said with emotion the American president, himself a twice-bereaved father.
One of the worst attacks for several years
The gunman killed his victims “in an atrocious and senseless manner” in the town of Uvalde, Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott said. Identified as Salvador Ramos, he also died in this massacre which affected the town located about 130 kilometers west of San Antonio.
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Salvador Ramos, of American nationality, would have first targeted his grandmother, whose state of health remained to be clarified, before going to school by car to perpetuate his massacre there. The motives of this attack, one of the worst in a school for years, were for the moment unknown.
Flags at half-mast
Videos shared on social networks showed children evacuated in an emergency, shaking hands or running in small groups towards yellow school buses, in front of this establishment with low and flat buildings, typical of the southern United States.
“Too much is too much,” Vice President Kamala Harris got carried away, calling for “action” on the subject of gun violence, a national scourge. “Our hearts continue to be broken,” she said. “We must find the courage to act,” she added to the address of Congress.
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“The word tragedy is not enough to describe what happened, reacted the archbishop of San Antonio Mgr Gustavo Garcia-Siller. (…) These mass shootings are a most urgent matter of life on which all members of society must act – elected leaders and citizens alike. »
An endemic phenomenon
The attack plunged the country back into the throes of school shootings, which are frequently repeated with shocking images of traumatized students forced to confine themselves to their classrooms before being evacuated by law enforcement and parents panicked, desperate to hear from their children.
The tragedy is reminiscent of that of the elementary school in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, where a 20-year-old madman killed 26 people, including twenty children aged 6 and 7, before committing suicide. “It only happens in this country, and nowhere else. In no other country do children go to school thinking they might get shot,” said Democratic Senator Chris Murphy from the northeastern state.
America was also particularly marked by a shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, which killed 17 people, the majority of them teenagers, in 2018.
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This new killing, all the more shocking as the victims are children, thus revives criticism of the proliferation of firearms in the United States. A debate that runs practically empty given the lack of hope of adoption by Congress of an ambitious national law on the issue.