Early Friday, America experienced its 22nd school shooting of 2018 in which someone was hurt or killed.
As we’re only 20 weeks into the year, the number of school shootings averages out to more than one per week, CNN reports. The latest occurred at Santa Fe High School in Texas.
Not much was known in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, but Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez confirmed on Twitter there were “multiple casualties.”
President Trump on the school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas: “We’re closely monitoring the situation and federal authorities are coordinating with local officials. This has been going on too long in our country” https://t.co/x1Z8g2XnJV— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) May 18, 2018
Later, it was reported that at least eight people were killed and many other injured, with the shooter believed to be a fellow student. When President Donald Trump first addressed the tragedy, he posted a short tweet simply announcing there had been a shooting, noting that initial reports were “not looking good,” and concluding the post with “God bless all!”
School shooting in Texas. Early reports not looking good. God bless all!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2018
He was eventually briefed more on the incident and offered a longer statement during an unrelated televised event.
“I have to begin by expressing our sadness and heartbreak over the deadly shooting at Santa Fe high school in Texas, just took place moments ago. We're closely monitoring the situation and federal authorities are coordinating with local officials," Trump said.
"This has been going on too long in our country. Too many years, too many decades now, we grieve for the terrible loss of life and send our support and love to everyone affected by this absolutely horrific attack to the students, families, teachers and personnel at Santa Fe high. We're with you in this tragic hour and we will be with you forever. My administration is determined to do everything in our power to protect our students, secure our schools, and to keep weapons out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves, and to others. Everyone must work together at every level of government to keep our children safe. May God heal the injured and may God comfort the wounded and may God be with the victims and with the victims’ families. Very sad day.”
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos also issued a statement in which she emphasized the obvious points that schools need to be “safe and nurturing environments” and “we simply cannot allow this trend to continue.”
“My heart is heavy from watching the horrific events that unfolded at Santa Fe High School today. My prayers are with each student, parent, educator and first responder impacted. Our schools must be safe and nurturing environments for learning. No student should have to experience the trauma suffered by so many today and in similar events prior. We simply cannot allow this trend to continue.
Every day, the Federal Commission on School Safety is working to identify proven ways to prevent violence and keep our students safe at school. Our work remains urgent. Our nation must come together and address the underlying issues that lead to such tragic and senseless loss of life.”
Ironically, Santa Fe High School was one of the many schools across the country that participated in the national school walkout against gun violence less than a month ago on April 20. In photos tweeted by a Santa Fe student at the time, several teens can be seen holding up a poster with “Never Again” written on it.
@schoolwalkoutUS Santa Fe High School. Santa Fe, Texas. #NeverAgain We read a poem by a parkland survivor, handed out gun violence fact sheets and orange ribbon, did 17 minutes of silence, and then talked about ways to raise awareness for gun violence, and make your voice heard. pic.twitter.com/UiIwVVw75q— ✨roger's girl✨ (@mukethemusical) April 20, 2018
Now, they are living the same horrific nightmare that the Parkland, Florida, community has been dealing with since Valentine’s Day.
The problem with the statements made by DeVos and Trump is that the entire administration has actually done very little to prevent these shootings from happening. Their failure to support and implement stricter gun control legislation is why we are up to 22 school shootings right now and why this has been the third situation in eight days in which a gunman was spotted on a school campus.
They continue to make the same generic statements, offer the same tired prayers, and make the same false promises to keep Americans safe. But when faced with the opportunity to take action, they do absolutely nothing.
Trump is focusing all his energy on painting immigrants as national security threats, yet our country is shamelessly breeding domestic terrorists right here at home.
How many more children have to die?
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Courtesy HCSO/Handout via REUTERS