The Body Count(s)

by Tamuira Reid

Guns guns guns
on the news
nothing new
here comes the Blue.
Guns guns guns
where we sleep
where we eat
beneath our feet.
Guns guns guns
where we pray
where we play
get outta the way.

—Oliver, Brooklyn, New York (11 years-old)

1. There are more guns than people in the United States.
2. You can legally buy an assault weapon before you can buy a beer.
3. Salvador Ramos bought himself a pair of AR-15’s – and over 375 rounds of ammunition – in celebration of his eighteenth birthday. They felt light in his hands, almost weightless.
4. An 8 year-old Uvalde survivor initially mistook the gunfire in his school for fireworks. He had never heard an AR-17 spray bullets before. “Like this pop, pop, pop sound.”
5. During the Uvalde shooting, a father tried to enter the building to save his daughter, a student at Robb Elementary. “My baby is in there,” he pleaded. But police officers kept him on the outside looking in.
6. (The longest hour of his life would turn out to be the end of hers.)
7. After killing their teacher and barricading the door, Ramos told students, “You are going to die”. He then cherry-picked his victims, one by one.
8. Guns are now the number one cause of death for children in the United States.
9. A fourth grade survivor said she smeared her best friend’s blood all over her body to “play dead”. Her hair is beginning to fall out from where bullet fragments grazed her scalp.
10. Fox News anchors said Ramos “might’ve been trans”, that he “wore eyeliner and came from a broken home”. That he shot-up his grandmother before he shot-up the school.
11. During 2020, the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, more than 45,000 Americans died from gunshot wounds.
12. Uvalde was the 27th school shooting of 2022.
13. The FBI has unofficially defined a mass shooter as an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area.
14. 11 year-old Oliver, Brooklyn, New York, has been practicing active shooter drills since kindergarten, before he knew how to read. “The teachers call it something else, because they don’t want to scare us. But we know what it is. We know what we’re doing.” He saw bulletproof backpacks were trending recently, and calls product both smart and sad.
15. The National Rifle Association has touted the AR-15 as America’s rifle. Its popularity has skyrocketed in the past two decades.
16. Columbine High School, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook Elementary, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
17. Robb Elementary.
18. Nineteen schoolchildren, two teachers, one gunman.
19. Psychopathy – also referred to as Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD) – consists of an interpersonal component, an emotional component, and a behavioral component. According to, children may be at a higher risk of developing psychopathy due to genetic factors. “[These] children may actually need more verbal and physical warmth than other children.”
20. Texas governor Greg Abbott called the Uvalde shooting a “senseless crime,” and that it “could have been worse.” There have been six mass shootings in his state since he took office.
21. The 2022 NRA Convention continued as planned, roughly 300 miles from Uvalde, where some victims have yet to be buried.
(22) Ramos’ father told a Texan news outlet that he doesn’t want the public labeling his son as a monster. “They don’t know nothing, man,” he said. “They don’t know anything he was going through. My son was a good person.”