Will the El Paso Shooting Be the Last Straw?


Annabella Rivera

A couple mourns the fallen victims of the El Paso shooting.

Annabella Rivera, Staff Writer

On Saturday, Aug. 3, just minutes after 10:30 A.M., a 21-year-old male walked into a Walmart in El Paso, Texas and began to open fire on civilians. With the number of fatalities recently being updated to 22, national disappointment in the American system has increased as well.

This is just another situation where lives are lost due to gun regulations with loose ends. As of August 2019, there have been 255 mass shootings in the U.S. that have led to 246 people losing their lives, and the fact that not many people know this information shows how regular these occurrences have become. There is definitely something the United States is doing wrong, and it’s the fact that our control over gun sales is deteriorating. The desire that people in our country have for guns is costing the lives of others and no one seems to be doing anything about it.

Anyone could walk into a private gun show and legally obtain any firearm available to you. Although commercial sale guns require a vague background check on the buyers, private sellers –  or the “secondary” market – does not. This means that ex-convicts, children and just about anyone can legally buy a firearm. This is a giant loophole in the already loose gun regulations that no one seems to acknowledge.

People try to debunk this idea of stricter gun regulations by bringing up their second amendment rights. They ramble about how our Founding Fathers established that amendment for a reason and that it’s our “right” to own guns, but what they fail to realize is that those rights were made in the 1700s – a few years after the revolutionary war ended. In other words, they were tailored for the people and weapons in that day and age.

People at the time have just freed themselves from a country where anyone could legally come into their home. With that state of mind, it’s reasonable for them to be allowed some sort of self defense, but that is not applicable for our current situation. Just like how generations evolve, so should our laws. The second amendment might have been necessary in 1788, but it no longer is.

“It’s scary how easy it is to get a gun in our country, and when I see the shootings on the news, I fear that might happen to me one day,” freshman Angie Iraheta said.

After the El Paso shooting, it seems as if the only responses we’ve received from the government are Trump’s tweets and his 10-minute speech, in which he blames the internet, video games, mental illness and racism for the shooting. While Trump did mention what actions he would take to add gun regulations, how far is he actually going to push those ideas when he’s so set on our “culture” being the problem, and not so much the gun issue itself?

The Washington Post wrote an article speaking on Trump’s claim of having “strong congressional support”, but, halfway through the article, it states “Trump acknowledged to reporters Friday that previous efforts to strengthen background checks ‘went nowhere.'”  So, once again, there has been another tragedy involving guns and, just like every other time, the government seems to be failing at enforcing stricter gun regulations. At this point, we are all left wondering when things will change, or if they ever will.

Pullquote Photo

I believe it is way too easy to access such dangerous guns.

— freshman Jazzmin Chavez

The El Paso shooting is a tragedy that is part of an ongoing cycle between gun regulations and the government. It has been made clear that the government has little interest in enforcing gun regulations or adding stricter background checks, so what else can be done to prevent these situations?

Well, one thing we can do as a community is to expand the availability of mental health institutions and to provide aid to those suffering with trauma and those that are not in the right state of mind. It is our job to recognize and help individuals that need it, especially if they could potentially cause harm to our society. Moreover, we can all support gun violence research and organizations fighting to keep our country safe.

Now is the time to acknowledge the crisis we are in and to do something about it. Gun regulation is something that is very serious and, hopefully, the El Paso shooting will be the last time something of this magnitude occurs.