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Deadly Elementary School Shooting Shocks and Bewilders Nation

Questions and recriminations abound as authorities and politicians search for answers in the second-deadliest school shooting in US history.
Deadly Elementary School Shooting Shocks and Bewilders Nation

The gunman who killed 21 people at a Texas elementary school was in the building for over an hour before he was killed by law enforcement officers. What happened in those 90 minutes, in a working-class neighborhood near the edge of the little town of Uvalde, has fueled mounting public anger and scrutiny over law enforcement’s response to Tuesday’s rampage, reports the Associated Press.

Questions arise over police delays with gunman inside school (Associated Press)

Excerpt from the Associated Press: It was 11:28 a.m. when Salvador Ramos’ Ford pickup slammed into a ditch behind the low-slung Texas school and the driver jumped out carrying an AR-15-style rifle. Twelve minutes after that, authorities say, the 18-year-old Ramos was in the hallways of Robb Elementary School. Soon he entered a fourth-grade classroom. And there, he killed 19 schoolchildren and two teachers in a still-unexplained spasm of violence. At 12:58 p.m., law enforcement radio chatter said Ramos had been killed and the siege was over.
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On Thursday, according to CNN, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell met with Texas Sen. John Cornyn and encouraged the senior Republican senator to begin discussions with Democrats, including Sens. Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, to see if they can find a middle ground on legislation to respond to the tragic Texas elementary school shooting.

Exclusive: McConnell says he has directed Cornyn to engage with Democrats on a 'bipartisan solution' on gun violence (CNN)

Excerpt from CNN: Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are facing enormous pressure to take action in the wake of the horrific shooting, but members on both sides acknowledge the uphill battle to find common ground given the highly polarized political climate around gun legislation and widespread GOP opposition to stricter gun control.It is significant, though, that McConnell has decided to weigh in and is giving a greenlight to a bipartisan effort on a potential legislative response to the shooting. But it still remains to be seen what, if anything, talks will amount to given that countless mass shootings in recent years have failed to break the partisan stalemate over the issue of gun policy in Congress.
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Nihilism about the Senate's ability to do anything after yet another horrific mass shooting permeated social media and the halls of Congress this week as most lawmakers remain highly skeptical that this time will be the time lawmakers strike a compromise, writes Axios.

Why this time could be different (Axios)

Excerpt from Axios: There are at least five reasons to believe the dam may finally be ready to break: 1) the majority of Americans support background checks, 2) the National Rifle Association is weakened, 3) Children were murdered. Again, 4) it happened in Republicans' backyard, and 5) key bipartisan players are talking again. Wrangling 10 Senate Republicans to overcome the filibuster is no small feat and something Democrats have consistently struggled with for the past year and a half. But Schumer has made his path forward clear and is willing to give senators breathing room one more time to try to find some sort of bipartisan compromise that can garner the necessary 60 votes to bypass the filibuster.
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And in a tragic sidebar to the massacre, according to recently released data from the CDC, firearms are now the leading cause of death for American children.

Guns now leading cause of death for American children, CDC says (New York Post)

Excerpt from the New York Post: More than 5 deaths per 100,000 Americans between the ages of 1 and 19 were due to guns in 2020, the most recent year for which the CDC has data. That number represents a nearly 30% increase in firearms deaths among children over 2019, according to an analysis of the data published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Gun-related deaths now outpace motor vehicle deaths as the leading cause of childhood mortality. "Regardless, the increasing firearm-related mortality reflects a longer-term trend and shows that we continue to fail to protect our youth from a preventable cause of death," researchers wrote.
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Special Report: Gun Violence in America
The National Rifle Association begins its annual convention in Houston, while less than 300 miles away in Uvalde, grieving families will bury their children, the latest victims of America’s unrelenting gun violence.

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