On his 18th birthday earlier this month, Salvador Ramos bought weapons. Yesterday, he shot and critically wounded his grandmother and then went on a shooting spree at an Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Nineteen children and two adults were killed, and many more were injured.
According to the Texas Dept of Public Safety, the shooter crashed his car near the school, got out with a gun wearing body armor, immediately engaged with law enforcement, and exchanged gunfire before storming the school. Still, he made it into a classroom, through a side door with no security, and started shooting.
The shooter was killed by a border patrol agent working nearby and rushed to help.
The shooter lived a troubled life. He had no apparent father figure, his mother suffered from drug abuse, and his grandmother wanted to kick his mother out of the house.
He was bullied for speaking with a lisp, endured gay slurs for wearing eyeliner, and was taunted for dressing differently. He had no real friends and no family for support.
The politicization of a tragedy
From the left: Democrats blame Republicans for their hardline support of the second amendment and their unwillingness to pass “common-sense” gun reform. Obama’s response to the tragedy puts all the blame on Republicans.
From the right: Republicans point out that strict gun laws fail to prevent shootings and only prevent law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves. They criticize Democrats for not offering real solutions and point to America’s severe mental health problem and lack of proper school security.
An opportunity for progress
Following the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in 2018, Andrew Pollack, the father of Meadow Pollack, who the shooter killed, published a book detailing how America could solve school shootings.
He argues that bulletproof glass, metal detectors, enhanced door lock systems, secure points of entry, and school marshals are essential. In the case of the recent Uvalde shooting, Ramos was able to walk into the school building through a side door with no apparent trouble.