29 Dead in Dual Mass Shootings

Posted by on Aug 7, 2019 in Current Events

In a weekend of shocking bloodshed, two mass shootings occurred this past weekend within less than a day of each other: first in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday morning, followed just thirteen hours later by another one in Dayton, Ohio. These mark the 250th and 251st mass shootings that have occurred in the United States this year.

El Paso, Texas

Twenty people were killed and more than two dozen injured on Saturday morning when a 21-year-old male white supremacist opened fire at a Walmart shopping center in El Paso, Texas. Immediately following the massacre, the gunman turned himself over to authorities, and he is now in police custody.

In the wake of the shooting, Walmart has come under criticism for not having a single security guard on duty at the time of the event. The store, however, insists that all of its staff members who were on duty at the time had received proper active shooter training. Perhaps more critically, many of the people killed at the store were Mexican nationals, and the early investigation indicates that race was a factor in the shooting. Just before the massacre, the gunman posted on 8chan, an ultra-conservative online forum.

Dayton, Ohio

Just thirteen hours after the El Paso shooting, across the country in Dayton, Ohio, a 24-year-old gunman opened fire outside Ned Peppers bar in Dayton’s bustling Oregon District late Saturday evening. At least nine people–including his sister–and injuring at least 27 more. He was wearing protective armor and carrying a military-style rifle. Dayton mayor Nan Whaley was quick to recognize the Dayton police, who arrived at the scene less than a minute after the shootings began and were able to take immediate control of the situation. The gunman was also killed. It’s not yet known whether or not he was targeting his sister specifically, and his motive remains a mystery at this time.

Responding to Tragedy

There is desperate hope among gun safety advocates that these two terrible shootings will reignite the desire of the public–and especially of lawmakers–to work to pass stricter gun safety legislation. In one indication that people have had enough of these kinds of gun-related tragedies, at a candlelight vigil on Sunday evening at the Ohio Statehouse, Ohio Governor Mike De Wine was heckled by the crowd, which chanted, “Do something, do something!” while he spoke.

Meanwhile, in response to the Texas shooting, Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard has stated that the government of Mexico will seek legal action against the U.S. for the deaths of the Mexican nationals who were killed in the shooting. And Cloudflare, the company that was the internet provider for 8chan, is terminating 8chan as a customer in response to the massacre.

Dig Deeper These shootings marked the 250th and 251st to happen in the United States this year. At this rate, what do you estimate will be the total number of mass shootings in 2019?