DALLAS — Nineteen students and two teachers: Those are the numbers of lives lost in Uvalde Tuesday.
It is the second deadliest school shooting ever, behind only Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown Connecticut where 26 people, including 20 children, were shot and killed.
“Our kids are living in fear because every time they step into a classroom, they think they’re going to be next,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D – Connecticut) said in a speech Tuesday.
Texas has seen these numbers before. The state witnessed seven killed and 25 injured during in Odessa, and 25 killed and 23 injured in El Paso in the same month in 2019. A year earlier, 10 people were killed and 13 wounded at a high school in Santa Fe, TX.
The state passed several law around mental health and arming officers are schools but did not pass a "red flag flaw", which some advocates recommended.
Immediately after the Uvalde attack, state politicians focused again on school security rather than changes to gun laws.
“Texas has done a lot of things after the Santa Fe shooting,” Lt. Governor Dan Patrick said on Fox News Tuesday evening. “Obviously, we have to harden these targets and make sure no one can get in, ever except maybe through on entrance.”
Approximately 4,164 people died from guns in Texas in 2020, according to CDC data. That’s nearly a dozen a day and more than any state in the country.
“If folks aren’t willing to put in policies that will keep our communities safe, then they shouldn’t be in positions of leadership,” Rep. Collin Allred (D – Dallas) said Wednesday.
Tuesday it was 21 in Uvalde. A week ago, it 10 in Buffalo.
May 25 was the 145th day of 2022, and there have already been 213 mass shootings, according to not-for-profit Gun Violence Archive.
“There is a plague, a plague upon this nation, a plague of gun violence that has taken over this country,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a Senate floor speech Wednesday.
In 2020, the number one cause of deaths for kids 1-19 was guns, passing car crashes for the first time in 60 years.
This year, there have been 27 students and teachers shot and killed in schools in the U.S. and 22 police officers killed by guns.
“If people want to talk about banning certain guns, they should propose that, but it wouldn’t prevent these shootings,” Marco Rubio said, when asked about the need for assault rifles Wednesday.
The shooter in Uvalde used an AR-15 rifle, according gov. Greg Abbott. There are 1.2 guns per person in the US, far more than any other country.
Monday, one day before the shooting, the FBI released a report on active shooters -- showing in 2021 there were 61 active shooters in the US, double the number from 2019. Five times, the targets were in Texas.
“Five of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history, right here in this state in the last five. He was governor for every single one of them,” Beto O’Rourke, who is running for Governor, said after a press conference from Gov. Greg Abbott. “If we do nothing, we will continue to see this, year after year, school after school, kid after kid.”
Nineteen students and two teachers were killed. Seventeen more were injured.
Countless, though, are moments of silence, irreplaceable are the faces taken, and incalculable is the pain felt.