The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that the number of deaths from firearms in the United States suffered a “historic” increase in 2020.
Photo: CRISTOBAL HERRERA-ULASHKEVICH
A shooting on the campus of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, has left 21 dead so far, including the shooter and three adults.
The authorities have not provided further details about the victims, but it is known that 18 of these are students. The institution closed its activities from noon and several teachers took their students home to protect them.
The age of the victims of the massacre would be between 6 and 10 years old, according to the first reports. They would be part of the courses from 2nd to 4th grade. A dozen children remain at Uvalde Memorial Hospital to receive treatment for injuries whose severity and nature have not been disclosed.
It is the second worst shooting at a school in the United States in its history, worse than the Columbine massacre and only surpassed by the Sandy Hook massacre in Connecticut, where 28 people died, including the perpetrator.
The United States has recorded more than 200 mass shootings so far in 2022, according to the tracking group Gun Violence Archive. This represents more than one shooting per day.
As of Tuesday, 17,074 people have died from gun violence in the country, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These figures also indicate that at least 411 children up to the age of 11 have been shot, and about 1,803 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 have also been hit by projectiles.
Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin told ABC News that the situation at the school “is very bad” and said his office is trying to contact the parents of the students before any information about their status is released. health condition.
CNN reported that the shooting suspect was taken into custody by officers from the Uvalde Police Department after being barricaded in the school grounds for nearly an hour. Hours later, Texas Governor Greg Abbott reported that the 18-year-old shooter was killed by authorities.
There is an active shooter at Robb Elementary. Law enforcement is on site. Your cooperation is needed at this time by not visiting the campus. As soon as more information is gathered it will be shared.
The rest of the district is under a Secure Status.
— Uvalde CISD (@Uvalde_CISD) May 24, 2022
The shooting in Uvalde comes a week after a young white man opened fire on customers at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, in what has been called a “racist attack.”
The United States presents an increase in violence with weapons at the same time that the production of these has multiplied. US firearms manufacturers produced more than 139 million guns for the commercial market over the past two decades, including 11.3 million in 2020 alone, according to a government report. Another 71 million weapons were imported in the same period, compared to just 7.5 million exported.
This is evidence that the United States is literally swimming in personal weapons, which have led to an increase in gun violence, murders and suicides, according to the Justice Department report.
The document shows that while Americans have become a favorite of the semi-automatic assault rifles seen in many mass shootings, they have flocked to the increasingly cheap, easy-to-use and accurate 9mm semi-automatic pistols that are now used by most police forces.
In addition, authorities are facing a rise in “ghost weapons” – unregistered, home-made from parts that can be bought online and produced with a 3D printer – as well as short-barreled pistols and rifles that are so powerful and deadly. like semi-automatic assault rifles.
“We can only address the current rise in violence if we have the best information available and use the most effective tools and research to advance our efforts,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco.
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“This report is an important step in that direction. The Department will continue to collect the information necessary to fine-tune our focus on the most significant drivers of gun violence and get shooters off the streets.”
The report was published after a weekend where the impact of firearms on American society was made clear.
In addition to the shooting in Buffalo, in Laguna Woods, California, a man shot five people with a 9mm pistol at a church frequented by Taiwanese. And in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, more than 20 people have been injured in shootings in the city’s downtown entertainment district.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that the number of deaths from firearms in the United States suffered a “historic” increase in 2020.
Indeed, there were 19,350 firearm homicides that year, an increase of almost 35% over 2019, and 24,245 suicides with weapons, an increase of 1.5%.
The firearm homicide rate stood at 6.1 per 100,000 population in 2020, the highest in 25 years.
Meanwhile, the arms industry has exploded in the last two decades. In 2000, there were 2,222 active registered manufacturers. In 2020, the number climbed to 16,936.
The annual production of commercial arms, likewise, took off: from 3.9 million in 2000 it went to 11.3 million twenty years later. However, it suffered a slight drop compared to 11.9 million in 2016.
Firearms from official manufacturers must have serial numbers that allow for traceability by law enforcement. But authorities are showing growing concern about home-made “ghost weapons” that lack serial numbers and are increasingly used by criminals.
In 2021, according to the report, authorities recovered 19,344 “ghost weapons,” up from 1,758 five years earlier.
In April, US President Joe Biden announced crackdowns on “ghost guns,” curbing pro-gun advocates who called his ideas “extreme.”
“Is it extreme to protect police officers, extreme to protect our children? (…) It’s not extreme, it’s basic, common sense,” Biden said.
*With information from agencies
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