The United States: Land of Irrational Slaughter


Revealing the names of senators who oppose it would be a step toward gun control in the United States.

When you consider the appalling massacre at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, it is most illustrative to simply outline what happened, to allow the reader to evaluate the murderer’s inexplicable actions.

Salvador Ramos was shot down by police after committing the crime, having first announced over social media that he intended to shoot primary school students as well as his grandmother. With the help of excellent news coverage by The New York Times and CNN, I was able to gather information that let me envision the evil of a madman who was “bullied” at school for his outlandish clothing.

Here are some examples of the reality behind the murder of 19 elementary schoolchildren and two teachers:

• Of the victims, 90% were Latino and 81% came from low-income families;

• Donald Trump will be the keynote speaker at the National Rifle Association convention today in Houston;

• Also in attendance will be Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, extremist Republicans. They have said they regret the massacre, but have no plans to take any action;

• The AR-15 automatic rifle, used by this ruthless killer, is similar to the Israeli Galil assault rifle used by the Guatemalan army in fighting guerrillas who used Soviet AK-47 weapons. Both are sold without limitation in U.S. gun shops;

• There have been 213 similar shootings this year, 30 in schools;

• In the U.S. there are 120 guns for every 100 people, the highest average in the world. The number of guns total 393 million, of which 46% are owned by civilians; 20 million are sold every year, or 55,000 a day; and

• The United States has 4% of the world’s population, but 46% of the world’s weapons. Seventy percent of these weapons are purchased by people under 20 years of age.

I remember seeing a huge display of military weapons for sale in a tiny town in Mississippi in 1970. When I asked what I needed to buy one, the owner told me, “Money, of course.”

It is an aberration of the freedom guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to have weapons at home.*

Many senators, especially Republicans, strongly oppose any control.

Anyone who wonders about Republican and Democratic attitudes toward gun control should remember the enormous political contributions by the National Rifle Association and the incessant work of gun lobbyists, which feed on the fears of citizens. The reality is different. In countries that are serious about limits, there is a decrease in the number and percentage of incidents.

Gun ownership in the U.S. is twice that of the country that ranks second on this issue. Globally, the U.S. is unique: The debauchery of acquisition correlates to the slaughter.

Joe Biden delivered an emotional speech on Tuesday, but that’s as far as he’ll go. The Senate now goes into a scheduled recess, which will undoubtedly be reflected by a decline in indignant reactions — this time, in greater numbers.

But no one accepts having children and teachers be “collateral casualties.” The gravity of this situation should trump partisan criteria and the desire for reelection. We can convince senators who object to gun control by making their names and voting records public.

U.S. law prohibits anyone under the age of 18 from having a driver’s license, but not from possessing weapons of war designed to end a huge number of lives in seconds. There are rules that govern speed limits on roads and a long series of much less important activities.

The same thing is possible for buying guns and making it illegal to carry them. It takes political will and at least some respect for the right that children and adults have not to be killed at school, in church, on a bus or walking down the street.

It’s simple: more guns, more crimes.

*Editor’s note: The Second Amendment provides: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

About this publication


About Patricia Simoni 111 Articles
I first edited and translated for Watching America from 2009 through 2011, recently returning and rediscovering the pleasure of working with dedicated translators and editors. Latin America is of special interest to me. In the mid-60’s, I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Chile, and later lived for three years in Mexico, in the states of Oaxaca and Michoacán and in Mexico City. During those years, my work included interviewing in anthropology research, teaching at a bilingual school in the federal district, and conducting workshops in home nursing care for disadvantaged inner city women. I earned a BS degree from Wagner College, masters and doctoral degrees from WVU, and was a faculty member of the WVU School of Nursing for 27 years. In that position, I coordinated a two-year federal grant (FIPSE) at WVU for an exchange of nursing students with the University of Guanajuato, Mexico. Presently a retiree, I live in Morgantown, West Virginia, where I enjoy traditional Appalachian fiddling with friends. Working toward the mission of WA, to help those in the U.S. see ourselves as others see us, gives me a sense of purpose.

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