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La Tercera, Chile

Massacre in an American School

By Editorial

Translated By Sara Hunter

15 December 2012

Edited by Gillian Palmer

Chile - La Tercera - Original Article (Spanish)

The slaughter of students that happened yesterday in the city of Newtown, in the United States, constitutes another example in the devastating series of attacks of this style that happen periodically in that country. This time the horror was especially strong because of the number of the murder victims and because the overwhelming majority of them were young children, between five and 10 years old, hit by the bullets of an individual who entered Sandy Hook Elementary School yesterday morning, while the students were in class.*

The lamentable frequency of episodes of this type in the United States is striking and worrying. Yesterday’s shooting brought to mind other similar shootings, like those that occurred at Columbine High School (1999) and at Virginia Tech (2007). It has only been a few days since a man opened fire in a mall in Oregon, killing two people and injuring another before he killed himself. There are those who link the shootings to the ease with which it is possible to acquire high power firearms in the United States, noting that the country makes highly lethal weaponry available to murderers. However, it is also important to note that other societies where gun control legislation is much more restrictive have also suffered similar killings, like what occurred in 2011 in Norway, where an individual killed 77 people, most of them young, in the name of xenophobic principles.

This suggests a deeper cause to explain the occurrence of these attacks, which could be related to the development in some societies and environments of apparently normal individuals who are actually deeply damaged and have a tendency to act on a strong resentment in a violent manner.

*Editor’s Note: Recent data about the victims in Newtown revealed that all of the children were six or seven years old.



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