Shootings in the United States: to leave or to stay?

Expat news
  • US police
    Steve Sanchez Photos /
Published on 2022-05-27 at 07:54 by Asaël Häzaq
On Tuesday, May 24, at 11:32 a.m. in Uvalde, Texas, Salvador Ramos, 18, shot 21 people at a primary school. A horror scene where 19 children and 2 teachers were reported dead. Three days after the tragedy, the people there are still shocked and deeply terrified, as is the rest of the world. A few days earlier, on May 14, ten people, mostly Americans of African origin, were killed in a racist shooting.

The next day, while the USA was still mourning its victims, there was another racist shooting in a Californian church. One person was reported dead and four seriously injured. These massacres revive the debate around the possession of firearms. As a land of immigrants, the USA is still as divided on the issue. How do expats feel about the current situation? Are they still on living in the country? What about those who were looking to live the American dream?

Americans and expats share their views

Not many people have openly expressed their views on the recent massacre on social media. However, expats living in the United States feel the same as the rest of the population. Most are outraged. “We are all the same. We feel the same pain, of course. It's not like they are on one side and we are on the other. We are together", says a French expat in New York. But she has no intention of leaving the country. She believes that the USA is her home. "These shootings have to stop". As reported by the US media, locals and immigrants share the same feeling.

According to Gun Violence Archive, a non-profit organization, there have been at least 212 mass shootings in the United States since the beginning of the year. This is a larger number compared to the number of days that have gone by since January. Gun Violence Archive specifies that a mass shooting is when 4 people are injured or killed (excluding the shooter). Here again, the local and immigrant population made an appeal to political leaders to take urgent action.

President Biden has openly expressed his emotion and anger. On the White House's website, the following statement was published: "As a nation, we have to ask: When in God's name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When in God's name will we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?" The US president recalls the positive impact of laws to regulate the possession of firearms. “When we passed the assault weapons ban, mass shootings went down. When the law expired, mass shootings tripled." Like politicians, artists, athletes, and all citizens of the country are astonished.

Still, expatriates do not seem keen on leaving. And for those who were eager to live the American dream, the question of canceling their moving plans hasn't arised yet.

Global support

Will all this have an impact on the firearms lobby? It's worth noting that mass shootings in schools have been reported since 1966 in the United States. However, these haven't been related to expats. The country remains a popular expat and tourist destination "We should not give in to paranoia. People shall continue to travel. Of course, it's a pity that their is no restriction on firearms on the country. I think they should be banned,” writes a Belgian student who is currently on a university exchange program in the United States. "It's incomprehensible. The USA is still the world's largest superpower. And yet, it seems that the country is being strangled by conservatives and lobbies", she says. The Republicans are also questioned. The focus is on Ted Cruz, a Texas senator close to Donald Trump. Ironically, he is expected to deliver a speech this weekend at the NRA (a huge firearms lobby in the United States) conference, which is taking place in Houston, Texas.