HOW could an 18-year-old boy, who is not even of legal age to drink alcohol, be able to purchase a military-style assault weapon, storm into an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and massacre 19 children — between the ages of 9 to 11 — and two teachers?
How could one of the child survivors ever recover from that trauma as she fought for her life by smothering her body with blood from her murdered friends and playing dead just so she would not be shot by this deranged shooter? How could the children who were trapped inside that school of terror, hiding from the gunman as they called 911 for help find healing, or would they be scarred for the rest of their lives?
How could the parents who would have to bury their children ever rise to pick up the broken pieces of their fragmented souls for the helplessness of not being able to save their children from the evil of this world?
How could parents of the children who survive ever trust the world again for fear that their own child might not be fortunate again next time a killer would fire rapid bullets? How could these parents let go and let their children be children when they fear that doing so would endanger them again?
How could the spouses of the teachers who were attacked and shot as they fulfilled their sacred duties of protecting the children entrusted in their care ever grieve the loss of their beloved? How could the husband who lost his wife of 24 years not be so heartbroken that he died of a heart attack two days after his wife was murdered and he did not even have the chance to say goodbye?
How could their four children orphaned by their parents and the bereaved mothers and fathers of those who did not make it live with the tragedy of losing their family in this senseless death that could have been avoided if only the citizens of this country had the heart and humanity to do the right thing?
How could those in the gun lobby group, National Rifle Association (NRA), push for even more guns and even easier access for militarystyle weapons that were manufactured to be used in the war zones by soldiers and not by civilians in everyday life all because of their greed for money?
How could lawmakers who took solemn oaths live with their conscience, if they still have one, for protecting the interest of the NRA because they benefit from their lobby money and campaign donations, instead of protecting the people they vowed to serve and protect so they could stay in power and satisfy their insatiable greed for power and money?
And how could you, if you are one of the American people, even support and vote for these politicians who have been betraying us, the American people, to favor and please the NRA? How could you not be moved by so many wakeup calls with one tragedy after another?
How could you even NOT support common sense legislation that would require full background checks and mental health checks so that those who do not have the emotional maturity, mental faculty and social responsibility to have guns would not have access to these killing machines, especially the assault military-style weapons?
How could you not support common sense regulations on the manufacturing, buying, selling and licensing requirements that have been proposed in Congress but have been ignored, watered down or blocked by greedy politicians?
How could you choose guns over the lives of people? How could you choose to fill up the void of your ego and machismo and a false sense of security of power through guns, choosing to be blind to the fact that America is the only industrialized country that has failed to address this safety crisis that has plagued our country because of your lack of humanity?
There were “1.5 million people who died because of gun violence between 1968 and 2017,” and as the National Public Radio (NPR) reported, “that is higher than the number of soldiers killed in every U.S. conflict since the American War for Independence in 1775.”
“In 2020 alone, more than 45,000 Americans died at the end of the barrel of a gun, whether by homicide or suicide, more than any other year on record. The figure represents a 25% increase from five years prior, and 43% increase from 2010,” the report added.
AMERICA, have we been desensitized to firearms death? When are we going to wake up and reclaim our humanity? When our families become victims of gun violence? When it is too late?
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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.
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Gel Santos Relos has been in news, talk, public service and educational broadcasting since 1989. She was a news anchor, TV host and radio commentator and public service host for ABS- CBN and DZMM. She is now working on her advocacies independently, serving the Filipino audience using different media platforms. You may contact her through email at gelrelos@ icloud.com, or send her a message via Facebook at Facebook.com/Gel.Santos. Relos. Also on Twitter, Instagram: Gel Santos Relos