On Tuesday morning, just after 11:30 a.m. CDT, 18-year-old high school student Salvador Ramos drove to Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, and opened fire. Over the course of the next 90 minutes, Ramos killed 19 children and two adults before being killed himself by police officers.
While the incident is the most deadly school shooting since 26 people were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012, it’s sadly an all-too-common scenario in America. The mass murder in Uvalde marks the twenty-seventh school shooting in the U.S. this year alone, and firearms are now the leading cause of death for children over the age of one (overtaking motor vehicle accidents). Yet rather than focus on how we can enact better gun control laws, the typical response to these deadly tragedies—particularly amongst Conservatives and Republicans—is to blame anything but the guns themselves, but offer plenty of “thoughts and prayers” and bad takes.
Texas senator Ted Cruz might win the award for dumbest idea with his suggestion that the best way to prevent yet another incident like this is for schools to only have “one door” through which students can enter and exit. Tucker Carlson, meanwhile, decided that the pandemic lockdowns are to blame for both the recent shootings in Texas and Buffalo, New York.
Then there’s Dan Patrick, the Lone Star State’s Lieutenant Governor, who once blamed the state’s higher-than-average COVID rates on “African Americans who have not been vaccinated.” Yes, he’s a total gem who believes that the best way to face America’s gun problem isn’t by restricting access to guns —it’s all about turning to God. On Wednesday night, he told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham:
“This problem is a much larger problem than the infrastructure, the mental health issue… And all those are important. But at the end of the day, Laura, we are a sick society where we are at each other’s throats all the time… Whether it’s on the internet, whether it’s in any walk of life, people are just at each other every day. And we have to ask ourselves who we are. And I believe we’re a nation of godly people, and godly people need to pray… Christians have to pray for God to heal our land, and we have to take a stand.
“There are some people in this country who are not believers, that’s fine. I respect their right not to believe. But for those of us who are Christians, we need to take hold of our country and we do that through prayer. You cannot change the culture of a country without changing the character of the people, and you just cannot change character without changing a heart, and you can’t do that without turning to God.”
I guess we’ll deal with the fact that there are more guns than people in our country later.