On the Mass Shooting in Uvalde, Texas

uvalde texas
Memorials for the victims of the Robb Elementary School mass shooting are displayed at Sacred Heart Catholic Church on May 29, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

May 29, 2022

Nineteen children and two teachers were murdered at Robb elementary school in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday. The shooter was identified by name once in this magazine for the sake of reporting the news, and we find it necessary that he not be named again. 

The shooting comes just days after the mass-shooting at Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, New York, claiming the lives of 10 people. A day later, on May 15, a shooting occurred in Laguna Woods, California at a Presbyterian church, killing one person and injuring five others.

After what appears to be a strain of horrific tragedies all occurring within mere weeks, or even days of one another, many have rightfully asked the question: what has gone wrong?

Many people, as predicted, have blamed firearms as the principal cause. If only we had “common sense” gun control, advocates say, the shootings in Uvalde, Buffalo, Laguna Woods, and many other places, would never have happened.

Hyper-stringent moralizing is typically a method used in arguments by those on the side of gun control advocacy, so let’s be clear: No rational human being, regardless of political opinion, wants these shootings to continue. 

There is not one single conservative to our knowledge that has expressed any sort of emotional apathy toward the severity of these situations, or the victims involved, out of some sort of fanatical ‘cultish’ love for the Second Amendment. The horrific notion that this is a “Republican problem,” as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez puts it, threatens to alienate approximately half the country that disagrees with Democratic gun control propositions.

“#RepublicansAreTheProblem” may have trended on Twitter when the news broke of what was happening in Uvalde, but did anyone—anyone—stop to think that, given that this happened in the state of Texas, a good number of the parents who lost their children over the past two days may have been registered Republicans themselves?

The logic here seems to be that, since these mass-shootings are typically committed with the help of semi-automatic rifles, we should take the initiative to either severely restrict the purchase and licensing of these weapons, or ban them entirely nationwide. Furthermore, if you disagree with the left’s gun control agenda, then you clearly don’t care about the dead kids. 

Conservatives, in America’s increasingly virulent political theater, are once again erroneously made out to be the bigoted defenders of so-called outdated relics of our Constitution that supposedly have little to no virtue in modern America.

We believe this to be absolute rubbish.

The deranged gunman responsible for the murder of 19 children and two adults in Uvalde broke many gun laws, both federal and state, when he decided to do what he did. We see no indication that further blind legislative action restricting the access to semi-automatic weapons would prevent another mass-shooting. Surprise, surprise, criminals break laws.

Hyper-stringent moralizing is typically a method used in arguments by those on the side of gun control advocacy, so let’s be clear: No rational human being, regardless of political opinion, wants these shootings to continue. 

Mass Shootings in the Last 50 Years

A study documenting and researching all mass-shootings that occurred from 1966 to 2019, conducted by the National Institute of Justice in conjunction with nonpartisan research organization, The Violence Project, found that just 25.1% of mass-shootings were committed using semi-automatic rifles, while 77.2% involved handguns.

Even with these findings seemingly disproving the rationale behind semi-automatic rifle bans, we believe that the most striking findings of this study are the ones that examine the concentration of mass-shootings in a particular time frame.

According to the study, of the 167 incidents between 1966 to 2019,—more than half of those shootings occurred after the year 2000, of which 33% occurred after 2010. 20% occurred within the past five years of the study period. Therefore, more than half of the mass shootings occured in the last ten years alone within a 50 year period.

In addition, 16 of the 20 deadliest mass-shootings in American history occurred within the period spanning from 1999 to 2019, and eight of those 16 occurred between 2014 and 2019. The 10-year semi-automatic rifle ban, signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1994, which expired in 2004, didn’t seem to stop the infamous Columbine High School massacre of 1999, back when the ban was well into effect. 

The study conducted by the National Institute of Justice and The Violence Project offers a very compelling analysis, putting mass-shootings into a historical and chronological context, and seems to vindicate the age-old remark known to be said by older generations: These things didn’t happen when I was your age.

Indeed, it would appear that the vast majority of mass-shootings, the same horrific events that gun control advocates use as fuel for their political agendas, are a phenomenon near-exclusive to the 21st century. 

Semi-automatic weapons, however, have been around for far longer, and gun restrictions across the U.S. were undeniably more lenient in the 1960s-80s. The guns themselves haven’t changed much, with the exception of modern-day modifications, which continue to be regulated by law. So if the guns haven’t changed, what has changed? 

Given a very high concentration of these shootings being committed within the past 25 years, by either Millennials or Gen-Zers, we must consider the mental health issues leading to these shootings and the socio-cultural circumstances contributing to them. 

Mental Health

The culture has changed. We believe that the nation has lost its collective mind. Political polarization has always been a factor in America, but never before have Americans been so divided culturally—and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.

(READ MORE: ‘Political Pathology: How One Wife Could Only Listen to Music Under Biden’)

This cultural decay has been happening for a while—festering in the background while Americans yell at one another, though the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns made it far more obvious. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, U.S. adults aged 18-25 were found to have the highest frequency of major depressive episodes in the year 2020. Among adolescents, the same study found that the age group 16-17 had the highest frequency of major depressive episodes the same year. It was also reported that more than 7 in 10 Gen-Zers reported symptoms of depression during the pandemic. Never before have human beings reached such a high level of comfort, and yet such high levels of misery.

Given a very high concentration of these shootings being committed within the past 25 years, by either Millennials or Gen-Zers, we must consider the mental health issues leading to these shootings and the socio-cultural circumstances contributing to them. 

Failure of Law Enforcement

Even beyond the discussion on gun control and mental health, however, we feel the need to also ask questions about the Uvalde shooting that many in our media simply aren’t asking. For starters, we feel the need, as a conservative publication, to address what we feel to be a gross failure of law enforcement that likely contributed to the level of carnage in the shooting. 

There is an unreasonable standard in the conservative movement at the moment that, seemingly in opposition to the “Defund the Police” crowd, expects every conservative to “Back the Blue” indiscriminately. While we are opposed to the overzealous efforts by the left to gut police departments out of the asinine notion that the institution of law enforcement is systemically discriminatory beyond repair, that doesn’t mean we are closed off to having thoughtful and honest conversations about the failures and incompotencies exemplified by the Uvalde Police Department, and how they can be used to set an example of what not to do in future incidents. 

There is a valid discussion to be had regarding: a) why the shooter was able to fire rounds outside Robb Elementary for 12 minutes before entering the school without police confrontation; b) why parents were relegated to begging police officers for 40 minutes to enter the school and stop the shooter while he was inside massacring children; c) why there were reportedly no resource officers on the school’s campus at the time of the shooting; and d) why, after having rode the wave of a demand for police reform to the White House, the Biden administration initially refused to call for an investigation into the Uvalde Police Department, leading the mayor of Uvalde to file an inquiry with the U.S. Department of Justice, where an investigation now commences.

Some within our movement have defended the police officers, saying that there were considerations made by police that we simply are not aware of. While this may be true, we still do not find that argument alone to justify why the officers seemingly did nothing for 40 minutes. 

If you’re a police officer, it is generally understood that you have sworn an oath before your community to put your life on the line protecting it—that is why police officers are trained to use firearms, and to shoot and kill if necessary.

These are all pressing questions that demand a journalistic pursuit of the truth, and yet unfortunately are all too often buried under the more publicly notable and contentious conversations of gun control.

The Second Amendment Considered

With all these problems in our nation being brought to light, the principal complaint among gun control advocates recently has been one of immediate action: Why aren’t our lawmakers doing anything? How many more kids have to die before you take action?

This accusation is levied by many people who, while perhaps having their hearts in the right place, do not understand that their demands are unrealistic. They are unrealistic because they presuppose that gun control is the only solution—that if we had just passed “common sense” gun control laws, we could finally stop the carnage. It tells the (untrue) story of evil Republicans in Congress who, in their cultish love for guns and their apathy for the safety of children, simply refuse to flip the magical legislative off-switch that would make this all go away.

We reiterate this point because we feel it necessary to emphasize that, after all the discussion about gun laws, mental health, or the safety protocols of American schools, there is likely no one magical method that will end the occurrence of atrocities such as the one in Uvalde.

What we do appear to know, however, is that stopping tragedies like this is not as simple as pointing at a particular firearm, or even every firearm, and exploiting the emotions of grieving people in an effort to ban them.

In order to further justify this point of view, we also feel the need to remind Americans why the Second Amendment is so important, and why it is not merely a catalyst for the next mass-shooting.

Many seem to see the Second Amendment as twofold: the right to defend yourself with a firearm and the right to hunt game. Both are incorrect and are commonly used by gun control advocates to justify the prohibition of semi-automatic firearms, hence President Biden’s often out of place “Deer with kevlar vests” comments. 

But the Second Amendment’s purpose is none of these things. While the right to defend oneself with a firearm and the right to hunt game are positive byproducts, the purpose of the Second Amendment rests in one cause: to protect all the other amendments.

We believe this purpose to be supported by the historical context in which the Second Amendment was written. It was written during a time that saw British soldiers actively trying to confiscate firearms from American colonists, a cause that helped catalyze the battles of Lexington and Concord. It was written during a time that saw the state actively quartering its soldiers into the homes of civilians, without the consent of the home owner nor judicial warrant. 

Other amendments in our Constitution prevent many of these abuses from occurring in modern America, but the Second Amendment remains a reminder to those in our government contemplating an attempt to forcefully subjugate the citizenry under despotism. Owning a gun in America is not an unhealthy national obsession, it is a civic necessity, and abridging the rights of law-abiding gun owners everywhere would serve as a horrifically unjust indictment on all of them due to a handful of deranged lunatics who wanted to murder innocent people, especially when the reasons to ban firearms are based on shallow and incorrect interpretations of prevailing data.

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One Response

  1. Comprehensive, well-reasoned analysis of the the tragic event and reaction nationally. The 2nd amendment does, in fact, protect all the rest and the democratic tradition of this republic.

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