The deaths of 19 schoolchildren in Texas provoke despair and anger. But the arms lobby does not disarm.
He dared. Dare to pay tribute to the 21 victims of Uvalde at the annual rally of the National Rifle Association (NRA), the gun lobby. After each name mentioned, a small bell rings, as at the fair. Will the sermon attack the arms dealers, the laws that allow you to sell a combat rifle to an 18-year-old guy? No, Trump is incensed at the Democrats, guilty of “bringing out their tired old choruses,” namely, restricting the carrying of weapons in the United States. Holy bread!
Also read: Irma and Joe Garcia, the tribute stone to Uvalde’s tragic lovers
“Everyone knows it’s not working,” he says in a tone. His solution? Arming teachers, equipping schools with armored glass and metal detectors, “like knocking”, and hiring security guards everywhere 24 hours a day, also armed … According to him, we must treat evil with evil: wage war against gunfire with … yet more weapons. There were 692 last year, almost twice as many as in 2016. Trump could have spoken for the holy union. And even refrain, out of decency, from coming to the NRA Congress three days after the tragedy. He preferred to reject the speakers who resigned at the last minute. Because between Trump and the NRA, the love story is old. We are at the heart of his electorate. Before speaking, the head of the organization, Wayne LaPierre, recalled with emotion how very early on he supported Trump, “the most favorable president ever in relation to the second amendment”. Trump strongly anticipates that he and his friends will win re-election in 2024.
He’s not mistaken: it was enough to attend the congress last weekend to measure the power of the lobby. Installed on the ground floor of the convention center in Houston, Texas, a giant arsenal. Auto Show style, you can find all the major brands there. Except that they are weapons of war of the type AR-15 – like the Uvalde shooter, hence the discomfort … At the Kalashnikov stand, an attractive salesman in a very short leather skirt told us everything at once reassured: certainly, the brand is off Russian origin, but here everything is “made in the USA”. What works best at the moment is the KR-103 ($ 1,100), a rifle that “always hits its target: whether there’s snow or mud, the bullet goes through”.
The kids had been taught to hide under desks and call 911 from their cell phones. They did it…
At the Patriot Ordnance Factory (POF) booth, they rented the Revolution model for $ 2,800, equipped with parts used in the aerospace industry. We also arranged a raffle to win two revolvers. A little further on, at the Century Arms, a raffle gave rise to a 24-karat gilded AK-47 combat rifle worth $ 10,000 … Next to it, a “claw machine” amused many children under their parents’ tender gaze: in this large transparent plastic cube were barrels that had to be “fished” with a suspended mobile clamp … Elsewhere you could also use ammunition with a spoon, in trash cans, as if they were candy … A carnival, but in a diligent atmosphere : From one stand to the other, the “congressmen” examined the weapons with an expert eye, and listened religiously to the sellers, who rolled out to them the technical performance of their toys … No need to hope for the slightest tear.
Last Sunday, Vice President Kamala Harris spoke about the need to restore the ban on combat rifles in the United States. Asked about this measure, which was implemented between 1994 and 2004 by Bill Clinton with the help of Joe Biden, then senator, the answer from Richard Feldman, a former lobbyist in the organization, reads: “Expulsion of gun owners will not solve anything.” However, 63% of Americans are in favor of it. But today the minorities are stronger than the majority. In Texas, you can buy guns as an 18-year-old, but you can not buy alcohol, and everyone at the NRA thinks it’s normal. “It’s not a question of age, but the way you use the weapon. Someone with bad intentions will always be able to get one on the black market “, explains Bill, who wears a T-shirt stamped” Restore the anger “(” Restore the anger “). He also claims that “contrary to what Democrats say, it’s not easy to have a gun, there are a lot of rules,” while Texas has not stopped for a decade loosening the restrictions. . At the NRA Congress, everyone reiterates that the guns are not responsible for Uvalde’s tragedy. “It’s a mental health issue,” JR says. In my time, we had Colts everywhere, but people knew how to behave. Not anymore. The author of the slaughter was unbalanced. That’s all. “Come on, there’s nothing to see.
Disturbed, Salvador Ramos was determined: his female colleagues at Wendy’s, where he worked, remember it: according to one of them, he sometimes made inappropriate comments, even insulting them. He also harassed girls online on Yubo, a dating site – created by three Frenchmen – which is a hit in the US for 16-21 year olds. Of average height, slender, always tousled, Ramos had no friends and suffered from a strain which, combined with lack of pronunciation, gave him sarcasm and scorn. He got along very badly with his mother, Adriana, a popular waitress at a local restaurant, and did not talk to his girlfriend, Juan Manuel. As the situation worsened, child protection services had to intervene. They had taken him away from his mother to send him to his grandmother, with whom he had an equally bad relationship. By September, his sister had flatly refused to supply him with a weapon. Therefore, he had to wait until his 18th birthday.
Finally, on May 16, he went to Oasis Outback, the department store in Uvalde, on the outskirts of US-90, a four-lane road where, just like at the NRA Congress, you have everything at hand. Barbecue, XXXL Hawaiian shirts and … combat rifle. Ramos offered himself two, as well as 375 cartridges. The easiest in the world. So, after an argument with his grandmother over her phone line, he decided to act. He shot her in the head and seriously injured her, fleeing in his Ford pickup. Once at school, he locked himself inside a classroom filled with students. However, the school had doubled its security budget in recent years. The children had undergone training: they had been taught how to hide under their desks, and then to call 911 from their phones. Some followed the instructions, but it was not enough to prevent the massacre, especially as the police were slow to intervene, believing the shooter was neutralized while still in injury. That’s why the security measures that Donald Trump recommends are unrealistic. In Uvalde lost 16,000 inhabitants in the middle of the ranch, a hundred kilometers from the Mexican border, everything is slowing down. Including law enforcement.
In Uvalde, everything goes down. Even the police, who wait an hour before attacking
Last Sunday, at 37 ° C in the sun, a long procession formed around the memorial covered with flowers. Twenty-one white crosses surrounded a fountain, plus a 22., that of Joe Garcia, who died of a heart attack caused by the loss of his wife, Irma, one of two teachers killed by Ramos as they tried to protect the children . That day, Joe Biden had come to pay tribute to the victims; after the Buffalo Massacre in upstate New York, it was the second time in ten days that he had performed this exercise. No one but him who lost his first wife and two children is better placed to bring some comfort to families devastated by grief. At noon he prayed for them in the Sacred Heart Catholic Church (Sacred Heart), while a few hundred people outside gathered in prayer and recited “Hail Mary.”
After the fair, Biden briefly approached the audience. Shouts were: “Do something! (” Do something! “) Asked more women.” We will “(” We will do it “), he promised.But what will we do? Since the Uvalde massacre has a two-part group of elected representatives The President will do his utmost to get involved in this project, which, however, has little chance of gaining the ten Republican votes needed in the Senate to become a member of Congress. In the meantime, the shootings continue … Saturday night, a fight broke out in Chattanooga, Tennessee, injuring six people, two of them seriously, Sunday morning, another, in Taft, Oklahoma, resulting in one death and seven injuries, including a 9-year-old child … An ordinary weekend in America