Gun Violence in Schools: A Uniquely U.S Issue


Rylee Farrar, Editor

Last week on May 24, a school shooting took place in Uvalde, Texas at Robb Elementary School. The lives of 21 individuals were taken, 19 of whom were only in 4th grade.

At only 18 years old, Salvador Ramos had the possession of a firearm and carried out the unthinkable crime committed last week.

According to Gun Violence Archive, over 45,000 deaths related to gun violence were recorded in 2021 alone, a number that has only surged over the years. Over 200 mass shootings (defined by the site as 4 or more victims shot) have already taken place in 2022, despite being only halfway through the year.

When compared to other countries, World Population Review depicted that the US experienced nearly 300 school shootings between January of 2009 and May of 2018. The U.S. came first in the rankings of school shootings by country, with Mexico taking second place with 8 school shootings.

The mass shooting that took place in Buffalo, New York has already been swept under the rug as the media has moved onto the unfortunate elementary school shooting in Texas, despite the events only occurring 10 days apart. When mass shootings are taking place this often, it must be considered whether or not the root of the violence would prevail with stricter laws that currently do not exist.

New Zealand experienced one mass shooting in 2019 before immediately banning most assault weapons and tightening the laws surrounding guns. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took action right after the tragedy occurred, proving that it is never too soon to begin working towards change when it comes to mass shootings.

However, the U.S. has failed to implement such laws, and the amount of mass shootings taking place has only risen in recent years.

This crisis has continuously put the lives of individuals at risk; yet, the “thoughts and prayers” of officials only seem to be given following the events of a shooting.

It is never enough to simply acknowledge the violence existing within the country. Proper precautions and actions must be taken in order to prevent future shootings from taking place, and the statistics alone are enough to provide an explanation.