In the Wake of Another School Massacre, Russia Confronts Rising Gun Violence

In the Wake of Another School Massacre, Russia Confronts Rising Gun Violence

A shooter killed nine in Kazan’s Gymnasium No. 175. Early in the morning of May 11, CCTV cameras in a quiet suburban district of the Russian city of Kazan picked up a skinny young man, dressed all in black, walking purposefully down a leafy street, shotgun in hand. Unchallenged by passers-by, the gunman approached Gymnasium No. 175, a large public school of over a thousand pupils serving the western outskirts of the capital of Russia’s republic of Tatarstan. When asked for his credentials, he opened fire on a security guard, before storming inside. By the time the shooter — 19-year-old former student of the school Ilnaz Galyaviev, who had been approved for a gun license less than a month beforehand — surrendered to police, seven eighth-grade students and two teachers lay dead, with a further 23 people wounded. The massacre at Gymnasium No. 175, the 10th shooting at a Russian school in seven years, has shone a light on a rising crescendo of gun violence that has killed 36 and injured 124, leading to calls for a clampdown on gun ownership and tighter internet censorship, as the authorities struggle to get a handle on the problem. “A few years ago, school shootings were basically unheard of in Russia,” said Denis Davydov, a Moscow-based social psychologist who has studied the rise of mass shootings in Russia. “But in the last few years it’s become clear that we have an epidemic on our hands.” Despite Russia’s relatively high crime rate, violence […]

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