Texas school shooting: The American tragedy of horror again inside a primary school

ITV News Reporter Robert Moore reports on the 27th US school shooting of 2022 and the renewed calls for urgent measures to control gun violence

Some of the victims of the Buffalo mass shooting haven’t even been buried yet. And now America is looking in the mirror again, wondering what sort of society it has become.

The atrocity in Texas yesterday is a near-replica of the horror in 2012 that occurred in the Connecticut community of Sandy Hook.

A primary school. A young gunman full of unfathomable hatred. Teachers who were gunned down as they tried to intervene.

We stood there at the police roadblocks in Connecticut in those December days in 2012 trying to give grieving families the distance and respect they needed, and thought it could never happen again.

And now it has. On a similar scale. Against the youngest and most defenceless citizens of all.

The incident on Tuesday at Robb Elementary School, Uvalde, is the deadliest school shooting in state's history. Credit: AP

The greatest similarity between Sandy Hook and Uvalde, Texas, is the sense of helplessness felt by millions of Americans. Shaken to their core. Wondering what next? Where next?

As Joe Biden put it last night: “Why? Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen?”

He then added, devastatingly: “Where in God’s name is our backbone?"

"The idea that an 18-year-old kid can walk into a gun store and buy two assault weapons - it's just wrong... sick" - watch President Biden's speech at the White House

I’m to sorry to say - ashamed, even - that I’ve lost count of how many mass shootings I have reported on in 15 years of working in America. From Connecticut, to Nevada, to Florida, to California, to New York, to the Carolinas, to Pennsylvania, and on and on.

Some have been in churches or synagogues. Others against schools and colleges. Some have been attempted political assassinations, like the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Some have been sniper-like attacks, as we witnessed in Las Vegas. Many have been driven by online poison and far-right white supremacist ideology. We saw that 10 days ago in Buffalo.

But all have one factor in common: the astonishing ease with which deranged individuals have access to weapons of war.

That’s what makes America an outlier. There are an estimated 400 million guns in America. More than one weapon per citizen.

I don’t know what to say; or how I will report this latest tragedy. Everything we say is too feeble or too trite.

We know that gun laws won’t change in any appreciable way. Perhaps there will be an incremental move by Congress.

But the reality is that these attacks - however counter-intuitive it might seem to non-Americans - will lead to a surge in gun sales.

It’s the ultimate irony. A tragedy like this drives gun sales.

So while prayers are said across the nation, and mass shooting protocols are practiced in schools, the gun stores will be enjoying surging business.

And we will be dealing with all again in a few days, or a few weeks.

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