And yes, it is easy to think that all of the people who are running around out there committing crimes are maladapted persons who live on the margins. But history has shown us that they are much more than that. The truth is that here, there and everywhere people kill for little.

As of this writing, we are 145 days into 2022. But we have so far failed to figure out what direction we will take to get through the next four. In those 145 days, although I risk repeating myself, the organization Gun Violence Archive reports that in the United States there have been 213 mass shootings. The number is disturbing because it represents more than one a day, and it is even more distressing because to date in this country more than 7,600 people have died in shootings (the number does not include suicides). In 2020, there were more than 19,000 deaths by firearms and 21 million weapons were sold. The previous year, 20,920 people died in shootings in 692 incidents with weapons. There were more than 300 million guns in circulation.

A few days ago in Buffalo, New York, an individual who had become obsessed with racist theories and was radicalized on the internet entered a supermarket with an assault rifle and shot 10 people to death. He simply wanted to kill Blacks.

We hadn’t heard of Uvalde before. Once again, blood becomes a geography teacher, calling our attention to places we would otherwise not get to know. Salvador Ramos, the perpetrator of the most recent mass shooting, was identified by police as a solitary gunman. Ramos waited until he was 18 to buy guns legally, as anyone over that age could. He announced the purchase on his social media pages. Half an hour before the massacre, he wrote on his Facebook page, “I’m going to shoot my grandmother.” Later he added in another post, “I shot my grandmother.” Although thousands of people have died, the politicians of this country see guns as the solution to their defense problems. Might it be that these 213 people, who have decided the boundaries and duration of life for others, are simply solitary and maladapted individuals? Someone who mimics that behavior is very alone. In the press it has been said that Ramos was shy, and that he was a victim of bullying at his school; this pattern appears to be repeated in many of the perpetrators of violence.

Texas is a state where gun ownership is normal, and in addition, is encouraged by the practice of hunting for sport. How many of those thousands of dead were members of families who supported the use of guns in civil society?

This massacre reveals the troublesome side of the arms industry lobby and its pressure on Congress. In addition, it demonstrates the difficulty in decoupling the political, and poses a terrible paradox: At the same time Biden asks “ … when in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?” he is sending thousands of guns to Ukraine.

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