It was the last days of school at Robb Elementary School in the town of Uvalde, Texas. A small and humble town whose population is mostly Hispanic. Before the armed attacker burst in, the parents had attended a ceremony to celebrate their children’s school achievements. It would be the last time some of them would hug their little ones.

Now Uvalde is part of the list of places in the United States marked by the tragedy of a school massacre. Overnight it ranks second in number of deaths after the Sandy Hook school massacre in Connecticut, where, a decade ago, 20 children and 6 adults were killed by an assailant carrying an AK-15.

Then-President Obama acknowledged his frustration at the inevitability of more firearms-related incidents. Ten years later President Joe Biden expresses the same sentiment. Massacres with powerful weapons are not the exception, but the bitter rule in a country where children and adolescents die more from shootings than from traffic accidents, overdoses or cancer.

A few days before people discovered where Uvalde is on the map after learning the terrible news, in Buffalo, New York, people who were shopping in a supermarket were victims of a shooting that left 10 dead. On that occasion the aggressor did it for reasons of racial hatred. Regarding the massacre on Tuesday, its author, an 18-year-old boy, seemed to have mental problems. It has been inevitable to remember the massacre four years ago at the school in Parkland, Florida, in which 17 people were killed and as many wounded by the shooting of another young man who could be sentenced to death in the coming months.

They are mentally disturbed, extremists willing to commit hate crimes, angry individuals, or outright criminals. Very different lives and motivations, but they all have one thing in common: the frightening ease with which they can obtain a powerful weapon to unleash a massacre in a matter of seconds. Uvalde’s killer legally purchased two assault rifles as soon as he came of age. History repeats itself, and survivors of past shootings no longer have faith that legislators will bring about change.

While the families of Uvalde mourn their dead, the staunch defenders of the Second Amendment, with the National Rifle Association (NRA) as the great champion of the free circulation of weapons, repeat the usual fallacies: that the problem is people and not the guns. Every time a shooting occurs, they have the audacity to accuse their opponents of “politicizing” the issue to “take away” citizens’ right to bear arms.

They will be able to repeat their demagoguery ad nauseam in favor of a millionaire industry that, in return, rewards the politicians who kiss the NRA leaders’ rings, but the numbers don’t lie. The United States ranks 32nd in the world for the number of deaths from firearms. According to data from the University of Washington, when compared to Canada, it has 3.96 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, 8 times more than its neighboring country, which only has 0.47 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.

This Friday the NRA is scheduled to hold a convention in Houston that will be attended by, among others, the Governor of Texas, former President Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz, three figures from the radical wing of the Republican Party who count on the generous contributions that the powerful lobby does to its political campaigns. Not far away they will be saying goodbye to the victims of Uvalde. The last massacre before the next.

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