A new shooting, with eight deaths, occurred on Thursday night in a warehouse in Indianapolis (Indiana), has added to the sinister list of killings with firearms in recent weeks in the United States, a country of 330 million inhabitants and nearly 400 million guns in private hands. The latest deaths are added to 10 am in a Colorado supermarket on March 24 or 8 am in Atlanta beauty salons, a few days earlier. These episodes also take place in the midst of the shock of recent deaths in full arrest at the hands of the police and show the scourge of a powerful nation that advances in full-scale vaccination and enjoys an enviable economic reactivation, but that, without However, he seems unable to control this bleeding. The weapons were claimed in 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, almost 20,000 lives, not counting suicides.
The week began with the death of a student shot by police at a Knoxville high school in Tennessee. The young man, who was armed, went into the bathrooms in the center and, when the police accosted him, opened fire and wounded one of the officers. A few hours earlier, the Brooklyn Center police, a suburb of Minneapolis, had to explain that one of their police officers had killed a detainee who was trying to escape arrest because he mistook the stun gun for real bullets. The event heated the atmosphere in a city that lives these days precisely the momentous trial of police officer Derek Chauvin, for the death of African-American George Floyd in a brutal arrest.
Chicago authorities, meanwhile, had been preparing for the street protests for days, as a video of the death of a 13-year-old boy, Adam Toledo, was about to be released in a police chase. It was broadcast this Thursday night. And a few hours later, there was the massacre at the warehouse of the postal services company FedEx near the Indianapolis airport. Shortly after, the perpetrator, a 19-year-old former employee, committed suicide. The young man’s mother, Brandon Scott Hole, had warned security forces a year ago that her son could attempt “suicide by police.”
Record of deceased
This was, in short, one more week in the life of the United States. The radical disruption of daily life brought about by the pandemic created the feeling that shootings had also subsided. The figures compiled by the Armed Violence Archive, however, reflect that 2020 was the year with the most deaths from gunshots in at least two decades, with 19,380 deaths, in addition to the around 24,000 who committed suicide.
Because, even though it is the massacres that shock the world – the 20 children murdered at Sandy Hook School in 2012, the 58 people at a Las Vegas concert in 2017, the 17 at a Florida high school in 2018 … – The haemorrhage of armed violence that the United States suffers is daily, especially in minorities and disadvantaged neighborhoods. With FedEx, it has already had more than 15,000 incidents so far this year.
“This is an epidemic, for the love of God, and it has to stop,” cried the president, Joe Biden, on April 8 when he announced executive measures to try to restrict the population’s access to rifles and pistols. These are limited measures – more control in the sale of kits to manufacture weapons at home without registration numbers and the promotion of a plan so that the purchase of people can be prohibited in crisis situations – since any measure of depth requires legislative changes in Congress that collide with the Republican front wall. Initiatives for major legislative reforms have been stalled for years.
Arms is a political and cultural battle in the United States. The right to possess them is a sacrosanct principle, enshrined in the Second Amendment of the Constitution, but the debate arises in the interpretation of that idea, in how it is possible that a boy who is not allowed by law to consume alcohol at age 18 can Instead, buy a semiautomatic. For this reason, every time one of these massacres stirs up the debate on controls on the possession of weapons, sales increase exponentially, as a precautionary response to the possibility that Republicans and Democrats agree to tighten the limits.
After the bullets, wakes, tributes and demonstrations are held. This is always the case. These days take place in Minneapolis, Chicago and Indianapolis. They will then move to the scene of the next slaughter.
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