Laying a shooter to rest: Where is the line between morality and ethics?

Malaki Lingg, Assistant Web Editor

On May 24, 2022, an armed Salvador Ramos entered Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, taking the lives of 21 people before police intervention led to his death. Following the aftermath, Ramos’ autopsy was completed on May 27. From that point, it allegedly took one month for service and cremation arrangements to be made. During that period of time, multiple local funeral homes refused service to the family of the shooter, claiming they did not want to deal with him. It took until late June for an out of town funeral home to take on the task of Ramos’ arrangements. This situation brings up an interesting question: do funeral homes have the right to refuse service like this? 

Ramos’ body was being stored by the Bexar County coroner’s office for nearly a month. Some could claim it is unethical for a funeral home to refuse service to anybody. Don’t we all deserve after-death arrangements? Though I do not share this sentiment, the denial of funeral services could be viewed as unfair towards his family, who would still be looking for closure after his death. Ramos injured countless individuals and fatally shot 21 people that day, 19 of whom were elementary-age children. This means 19 of the victims were no older than the age of 12. 

The Uvalde massacre was the deadliest school shooting in Texas history; Salvador Ramos is a monster, point-blank, no exceptions. Funeral homes have every right to refuse to give him a service. Under federal law, a private business has every right to refuse service to anybody, as long as it does not violate the 1964 Civil Rights Act and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act. I do not believe refusing service to a mass shooter is discriminatory.  

Another aspect to consider is how overworked the funeral homes in Uvalde are going to be. Those funeral homes had to service 21 families of the victims in the massacre; would they want to add one more to that list, especially that person holding sole responsibility for the other 21 funerals? That would be a disgusting situation, families would be appalled and it would be a mockery towards the victims. Under no circumstances should the refusal of funeral services for Salvador Ramos, or any mass shooter, to be unethical. 

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