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Uvalde school mas­sacre: The Amer­i­can night­mare

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In his official remarks on the May 24 elementary school massacre in Uvalde, Texas – during which 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos killed 19 children and two adults – United States President Joe Biden demanded: “When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?”

Affirming that “to lose a child is like having a piece of your soul ripped away”, Biden declared himself “sick and tired” of the whole mass shooting thing, adding: “And don’t tell me we can’t have an impact on this carnage.”

He shared an epiphany he had just had on a 17-hour flight from Asia, which was that “these kinds of mass shootings rarely happen anywhere else in the world” – and went on to pose the question: “Why?”

The answer, of course, is far more complex than the handy assignation of all responsibility for “carnage” to the gun lobby – although the ludicrous ease with which armaments can be purchased in the “land of the free” is certainly a significant part of the problem. There are more guns than people in the US, and states like Texas have abolished laws requiring handgun carriers to possess any sort of permit or training.

I spent most of my youth in the Texas capital of Austin, and thought it was totally normal for eight-year-old me to be shooting beer cans off a fence with my parents’ friend’s pistol.........

© Al Jazeera

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