An epidemic of violence continues to rock the United States as time goes on, despite the best efforts of Republicans to chalk it up to anything other than there being too many weapons making their way through the country. In one of the latest pieces of evidence of this epidemic, a shooter stormed a Texas high school Friday and took the lives of a reported ten people, wounding many more.
Also Friday, a school bus in Bakersfield, California, was shot at while children were inside. Riding in the bus were 10 special-education elementary students on their way home from Mt. Vernon Elementary School. Spokeswoman for the Bakersfield City School District Irma Cervantes Lancaster told press that it seems as though a BB gun was used in the attack, but the identity of the individual who fired it is not yet known. None of the students who were on board were injured in the assault.
Although every student on that Bakersfield bus made it home safely Friday, plenty of other students in the United States have not been able to claim that same fate.
As already mentioned, ten people lost their lives Friday at Santa Fe High School in Texas; nine of the deceased were students and one was a teacher. The shooter, 17 year old Dimitrios Pagourtzis had long since been taken into custody and has been charged with capital murder and aggravated assault on a public servant.
The incident comes a few months after another high profile school shooting; in February, a gunman stormed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and killed 17 people.
Some of the survivors of that shooting have helped lead a national movement in favor of common sense gun control in the aftermath of that shooting; their efforts have included a massive “March for Our Lives” in Washington, D.C.
Republican leaders could hardly be said to have listened to the pleas from young people and their allies, choosing instead to continue to tamper down fears of gun violence with “thoughts and prayers” and symbolic gestures. One of those gestures was the creation of a commission for investigating school safety led by controversial Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
Meanwhile, Americans keep dying from gun violence.
Since January 1 of this year, as of late Friday, 5,417 people had lost their lives due to gun violence in the United States. Another 9,834 were injured, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
970 people from the ages of 12 through 17 have been injured or killed by gun violence in the United States so far this year, and 233 people aged 11 and under have met the same fate. There have been some 101 mass shootings concurrent to all of this.
When will enough be enough for Republican leaders?
The questions are old at this point. Come November, if you want something done about the epidemic of gun violence in the United States, vote out the Republicans and vote in Democrats. Republicans’ endless commitment to their partisanship has made that be the situation.
They should be worried, too, because many signs point to an impending blue wave this fall.