Texas is setting a new record for mass killings.
A day after a gunman killed eight people and injured seven others north of Dallas, Texas, the driver of a Land Rover drove into a group of migrants waiting at a bus stop killing eight on Sunday May 7.
Ten people were injured.
The attack occurred in Brownsville, Texas, near the border with Mexico.
The driver of the Land Rover, identified as George Alvarez, was initially charged with reckless driving, according to police.
On Monday (May 8) morning, the police charged him with eight counts of manslaughter.
The police said they had not yet determined whether the act was intentional.
Alvarez has a record that included prior charges of assault and driving while intoxicated, according to police.
After the Brownsville killings, he tried to flee the scene but witnesses held him until the police arrived.
Police Chief Felix Sauceda said at a news conference that the department was awaiting results of formal toxicology tests.
Alvarez was not cooperating, the police said.
In the mall shooting in Allen, Texas, the alleged gunman died after a confrontation with police at the Allen Premium Outlets, the scene of the shooting, Allen Police Department officials said on Saturday May 6.
The hospitalized victims' ages range from 5 to 61 years old, authorities said.
There was a surreal scene after the shooting.
Shoppers at the Allen Premium Outlets were ordered to come out with their hands in the air, presumably to ensure nobody was carrying a weapon or was an accomplice in the shooting.
After the latest massacre in Dallas, there was a string of vacuous statements from American officials.
President Joe Biden called on Congress to pass an assault weapons ban following the Texas mall mass shooting.
“Yesterday, an assailant in tactical gear armed with an AR-15 style assault weapon gunned down innocent people in a shopping mall, and not for the first time. Such an attack is too shocking to be so familiar," Biden said in a statement released Sunday (May 7).
“And yet, American communities have suffered roughly 200 mass shootings already this year, according to leading counts. More than 14,000 of our fellow citizens have lost their lives, credible estimates show. The leading cause of death for American kids is gun violence," Biden said.
Vice President Kamala Harris intoned in equally sombre tone: “All Americans deserve to be safe from gun violence.”
She also urged Congress to act.
“Doug and I mourn for the eight adults and children who lost their lives, pray for those wounded, and send our gratitude to the first responders who ran toward danger,” she said in a statement.
“All Americans deserve to be safe from gun violence. But they are not,” Harris continued.
“Not because we do not know the solutions. Not because the American people are divided on this issue -- even a majority of gun owners support sensible reforms.”
“We need action,” Harris added.
Despite such pleas, why is there no let-up in gun violence in the United States?
In 2021, there were 48,830 deaths from gun-related injuries, according to the latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
That's nearly an 8% increase from 2020, which was a record-breaking year for firearm deaths.
In Mexico, by comparison, there were 22,116 gun-related deaths in the year 2019.
Data shows more than 50 people are killed each day by a firearm in the US, according to the CDC.
That's a significantly larger proportion of homicides than is the case in neighbouring Canada at 37%.
Why is gun-related violence so prevalent in the US?
Some people say that it is the number of guns in private hands in the US, estimated at 390 million in 2018, according to the Swiss-based research project, the Small Arms Survey.
The US ratio of 120.5 firearms per 100 residents, up from 88 per 100 in 2011, far surpasses that of other countries around the world.
In Yemen, for instance, there are 52.8 firearms per 100 persons.
Yet Yemen’s gun-related killings are nowhere near the US figures.
So, one must look elsewhere to seek answers to the very high rate of gun-related killings in the US.
Violence is glorified in American culture.
It is projected on television as well as in video games.
When Americans murder millions of innocent people abroad in the endless wars of aggression, it is applauded at home.
In the US, the police shoot first and ask questions later, if at all.
It is said that violence is as American as apple pie.
When the culture of violence is glorified in America, it is not surprising that people would resort to it at the first opportunity.
School mass shootings have escalated.
Nowhere else in the world are children murdered in such high numbers as in the US.
Welcome to the land of the freaks!