🌍 Remember Uvalde

People react outside the Ssgt Willie de Leon Civic Center, where students had been transported from Robb Elementary School after a shooting, in Uvalde, Texas, U.S. May 24, 2022.  REUTERS/Marco Bello  REFILE – QUALITY REPEAT
People react outside the Ssgt Willie de Leon Civic Center, where students had been transported from Robb Elementary School after a shooting, in Uvalde, Texas, U.S. May 24, 2022. REUTERS/Marco Bello REFILE – QUALITY REPEAT
Image: Reuters

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

Nineteen children and two adults were killed at a Texas elementary school. On Tuesday, a shooter killed at least 21 people at Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, making it the deadliest US school shooting since the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre in 2012, and the second-deadliest school shooting in US history.

It is believed the gunman was a lone wolf. Officials stated that the now deceased Salvador Ramos, an 18-year-old from Uvalde, shot his grandmother before traveling to the school. A photo of two AR-15 style guns was posted to a social media account linked to Ramos three days before the attack.

Uvalde is grieving. Families waited for hours outside the city’s civic center to receive news of their children. 

Biden addressed the nation. “It’s time to turn this pain into action,” the president stated, calling for “common sense” gun laws. 

This was the 212th mass shooting of 2022, occurring on the 144th day of the year. Nonprofit Public Citizen tweeted the grave reminder following the shooting, and stated: “Gun violence is a public health crisis.”

Elsewhere in the world…

Russian forces moved to encircle Severodonetsk. The maneuver seeks to cut off supplies in what is becoming a key battleground in the war.

North Korea launched ballistic missiles. The tests coincided with the conclusion of US president Joe Biden’s Asia trip and the Quad meeting in Tokyo.

New Zealand raised interest rates. The rate is the highest since 2016 as the country’s central bank seeks to control inflation. 

Somalia is facing its worst drought in decades. Millions are in need of aid as the risk of famine grows.

The WHO said monkeypox is “containable.” The disease has spread to a dozen countries, and the US is trying to release its monkeypox vaccine soon for high-risk individuals.

What to watch for

“What are we doing?” —US senator Chris Murphy, in response to the shooting

The US national conversation will revolve around gun laws, which are at their most firearm-friendly in Texas. “What happened in Uvalde is a horrific tragedy that cannot be tolerated in the state of Texas,” said governor Gregg Abbott, an enthusiastic promoter of gun ownership who is scheduled to speak at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting this coming weekend in Houston. Last year, Abbott signed 22 pieces of legislation that made it easier to buy, carry, and own guns in the state.

Democrats have begged Republicans to act. Uvalde’s Congressional representative Tony Gonzales received backlash, having previously tweeted: “voted NO on two gun control measures in the House today. I am a proud supporter of the Second Amendment and will do everything I can to oppose gun grabs from the far Left.” Following the shooting he said: “Pray for our families.”

Here are some other disturbing numbers:

  • 27: School shootings in the US this year, which is not yet half over
  • 0: Hours of training or permits required for carrying a firearm in most Texas locations
  • 18: Age a Texan can be in order to buy a handgun if under an emergency protection order
  • 60%: Share of Texans who opposed allowing guns to be carried in public places without a license, according to a recent poll
  • ~50%: Share of Texans who were in favor of making gun laws stricter, according to the same poll

In Britain, “never again” for real

On March 13, 1996, Thomas Hamilton fired at five- and six-year-olds at Dunblane Primary School, killing 16 children and one teacher and injuring at least 17 others. Britain plunged into mourning. Columbine wouldn’t happen for another three years; for a brief moment, the mass school shooting was a British horror.

Days later, the UK set up a tribunal to recommend how to prevent such a tragedy from happening again. By December 1997, British lawmakers voted by a wide margin to ban handguns, and began removing them from public ownership. There appears to have been only one mass shooting in the UK since Dunblane, in 2010

The details of that day will never be forgotten by the parents whose lives were changed forever. But, unlike the parents of Columbine, or Newton, their experience—and that of their children—hasn’t been suffered by other children and other parents in their country.

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Surprising discoveries

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Sea lions broke into a fish farm. The critters devoured farmed salmon, but conservationists are worried for the sea lions’ safety.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news or comments to hi@qz.com. Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Nicolás Rivero, Julia Malleck, Scott Nover, Tripti Lahiri, and Morgan Haefner.