Whoever thought guns in schools was a good idea had their mind on other things.
After 17 people were shot dead at a Florida school on Valentine’s Day, the stats rang out.
It was the 45th day of the year. It was the seventh week of the year.
Yet, within that short, short time, it was 18th school shooting incident in America, and the eighth school shooting to have resulted in death or injury.
Less than a month ago, a 15-year-old student opened fire at a high school in Kentucky, leaving two students dead and 18 injured. Other incidents have been grave, but on a smaller scale.
In early February, one student in Los Angeles was shot in the head, and another in the arm, when a gun concealed in a fellow student’s backpack went off.
The congressman Bill Nelson, a Democrat of Florida, said on Wednesday afternoon:
“Are we coming to expect these mass shootings to be routine? And then after every one we say ‘enough is enough’ and then it continues to happen?”
Even after 20 children and six educators were shot in 2012 in Sandy Hook elementary school, Connecticut, USA’s Congress has refused to tighten restrictions on gun ownership:
“We’re lessening the threshold of how crazy someone needs to be to commit a mass shooting,” Austin Eubanks, who survived the 1999 shooting at Columbine high school, told the Guardian last fall.
In December, on the fifth anniversary of the Sandy Hook incident, “congressional Republicans refused to pass new gun control laws and instead pushed for a law that would weaken gun restrictions nationwide and make it easier to carry a concealed weapon across state lines”.
Shocking – and here we thought leaders of South Africa didn’t care about us.
The worst of it all is that the “emotional impact of school shootings” has sparked a boom in the school-safety industry:
In 2017, the market for security equipment in the education sector was estimated at $2.68bn, according to industry analysts at IHS Markit. Some companies have capitalized on parents’ fears by selling bulletproof backpacks or whiteboards, as well as offering ways to fortify school buildings themselves against attack.
Rather than pass the necessary gun control restrictions, Congress has “approved hundreds of millions of dollars in federal spending to help put police officers in public schools, including $45m in 2013, the year after the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting”.
So misguided; someone’s pockets are definitely getting their unjust share.
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