El Paso, TX
Today, Tuesday, August 3rd marked the 2nd anniversary of the El Paso mass shooting at a Walmart in the city that is one of the largest ports of entry on the U.S. / Mexico border. On that day 2 years ago, 23 lives were lost, and 23 more were injured. The lasting impacts of the horrific drama that unfolded that day will be felt for generations by citizens in our border city.
The 21-year-old “alleged shooter’s” arrest warrant affidavit says “the suspect waived his Miranda rights, confessed to detectives that he was the shooter, and admitted that he targeted "Mexicans" during the attack.” (source).
Texas legislators on both sides of the aisle pledged reform after the attack in El Paso, with even some Republicans talking about potential gun reforms.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a statement today regarding the attack:
"Two years ago today, a heinous and senseless act of violence destroyed countless lives in the El Paso community. As we dealt with the aftermath of the horrific violence and overwhelming grief, we also saw the true spirit of what it means to be a Texan.
"People from every corner of the Lone Star State banded together to support and uplift El Pasoans during their time of loss. And together as a state, we stepped up to protect our communities and prevent future tragedies. Following the shootings in El Paso and Odessa, I issued eight executive orders directing state law enforcement to enhance anti-mass violence measures, convened the Texas Safety Commission to identify any shortcomings in our systems, and highlighted DPS’ safe gun storage campaign.
"A recommendation from the Texas Safety Action report led to legislation passed this recent legislative session that was championed by Senator Blanco, Representatives Ortega, Fierro, Ordaz Perez, Moody, and Gonzalez. Senator Blanco’s bill increases the penalty to a state jail felony for those who lie during a federal background check that are already prohibited from owning a gun. We also appropriated funding to promote the statewide safe gun storage campaign through 2023. It’s a good start, one that we all look forward to building on each session with the legislature.
"Today, and every day, we remember and honor the lives of those cut short that day. And we strive each and every day to create a safer and brighter future for all in the Lone Star State."
More of the same.
In the eyes of many Democrats, the actions that were taken in the two years since the El Paso shooting are far from a partisan solution to controlling gun violence. In fact, the exact opposite has taken place.
Earlier this summer, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 1927 into law, lifting the licensing requirements to carry a handgun in Texas.
Information about the bill:
House Bill 1927 — “Relating to provisions governing the carrying of a firearm by a person who is 21 years of age or older and not otherwise prohibited by state or federal law from possessing the firearm and to other provisions related to the carrying, possessing, transporting, or storing of a firearm or other weapon; creating criminal offenses”,
Now anyone who wishes to purchase and carry a handgun in the state of Texas will be able to lawfully do so without any of the previous licensing requirements.
Abbott had previously indicated that he would sign the bill into law despite feedback and objections from law enforcement who worry about what this means for police in our communities as well as the public.
Before the passing of this bill, residents of Texas who wanted to purchase a handgun had to submit fingerprints, complete four to six hours of training and pass a written exam and a shooting proficiency test to obtain a license to “open carry” a handgun. Currently, the state of Texas does not require a license to cary a rifle in public.
El Pasoans will never forget the tragedy that brought so much death to our community.
Today was a day of remembrance to honor our family, friends, and neighbors who were lost too soon.
Do you think Governor Abbott has "stepped up" to protect our communities from tragedies?
Let me hear your comments and feedback below.
This is original content from NewsBreak’s Creator Program. Join today to publish and share your own content.