BALTIMORE (WJZ) –– Why does this keep happening? The question is on many minds after the Texas school shooting that killed at least 19 children and two teachers.
While investigators look into the gunman’s background, the nation remembers the victims of this violent attack. The 19 innocent children and their two dedicated teachers are being remembered by those in their community and across the country. pic.twitter.com/e18aSx9Q6K
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) May 25, 2022
The emotional toll is being more than 1,700 miles away in Maryland.
READ MORE: Mayor Recognizes Achievements Of Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Amid Grade-Fixing Allegations
The U.S. and Maryland flags will fly at half-staff through sunset on May 28, 2022 as a mark of respect for the victims of the deadly shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. pic.twitter.com/UELOjOgpjx
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) May 25, 2022
“It’s not lost on me that my daughter jumped on my bed this morning and told me she loved me. There are 20 parents in Texas who had that joy stolen from them,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, his voice breaking. “…No parent should have to experience that. So, our hearts are heavy today.”
While we are all devastated over the horrible tragedy in Texas, we want our students to feel secure. You may see our increased presence at and around your children’s schools this week. This is NOT due to any threat to our schools, but simply to provide comfort. @AACountySchools
— Anne Arundel County Police Department (@AACOPD) May 25, 2022
The pain is familiar and has been for decades.
One of the deadliest school shootings in the nation was a little more than 60 miles from Baltimore in 2006 at an Amish schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania. Ten girls were shot and five of them died; the youngest was just seven years old.
In 2018, a student at Great Mills High School in southern Maryland killed himself, wounded a 14-year-old boy and killed a 16-year-old girl.
Jaelynn Willey’s uncle calls her “the most thoughtful, caring person in the world.” She’s one of 9 children and was shot inside her classroom at Great Mills High School in southern Maryland @cbsbaltimore pic.twitter.com/u95x47KQgI
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) March 21, 2018
Johns Hopkins’ Josh Horwitz researches ways to prevent these tragedies. He’s advocating for violence prevention programs, limits on high-capacity magazines and permits for gun ownership nationwide.
“We are scared to send our kids to school and that needs to drive us to make a difference to make a change in policy,” he told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren. “There are solutions. We don’t have to accept this, but over and over again we do.”
Congress has failed to pass nearly 20 gun control measures in the decade since Sandy Hook when 26 were killed.READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Tornado Warning Issued For Anne Arundel County
Some say the answer is not gun control but doing more to address mental health issues.
“It doesn’t work. It’s not effective. It doesn’t prevent crime,” Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) said following the Uvalde massacre. “We know what does prevent crime is going after felons, fugitives and those with serious mental illness.”
In June 2018, a gunman killed five people in the Annapolis Capital Gazette newsroom.
A new FBI report reveals a spike in active shooter incidents last year. There were 61, almost double the 31 in 2017.
Earlier this month, nine people were shot in two mass shootings in Baltimore just hours apart.
25-year-old Chone Cummings died in a mass shooting yesterday in East Baltimore. Ahead on WJZ, I’ll speak to the friend who called the ambulance—Chone’s last words to him—and the impact of this horrible violence. @wjz pic.twitter.com/zyHhJqTIL7
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) May 11, 2022
Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Prevention and Policy continues to gather information on these mass shootings as they look for solutions.MORE NEWS: State Reveals New Home Loan Products To Help Marylanders Buy New Homes
“If the American people are silent, Congress will continue to act the way they do,” Horwitz said.