The year was 1999, a lifetime ago for some but a blink of an eye into the past many others. I remember vividly where I was when I heard about the Columbine High School shooting.
I was in the football locker room at Coronado High School goofing around with my friends and then the television cut to breaking news, reporting a mass shooting the likes of which this country has never seen before.
The country, collectively was in shock. Certain schools canceled the rest of the day, news media outlets dug deep into the tragedy and reported for several weeks on end trying to find a reason for why this act of violence was committed and to also deliver some closure.
To a large collective audience including myself, this was our first experience to not only a school shooting, not only a massacre, but a mass shooting.
Fast forward to today, August 3rd 2019. How many mass shootings has this country suffered through? I can tell you right now since 2019 after the events that happened today in my hometown of El Paso Texas.
Go ahead, look it up, the number in itself is haunting. Ten shootings and I’m willing to bet a large number of people never even knew there were that many already this year. This is indeed a different time.
A time where shootings around the country are now page 3 news, 5th story leading in after the commercial break when the top stories are about the celebrity of the month or about how the collective hive are triggered about how their feelings were hurt by whatever pc lines were crossed that day.
America has several eyes. Biased eyes reporting the news and dividing the country further and further into a never ending spiral, Eyes that are now in our home and can now talk back to us whenever we need information, eyes that constantly patrol social media, waiting for celebrities and politicians to screw up so they can screenshot it and repost it and drag them across the coals for it.
America has so many eyes but when it now comes to shootings, that certain eye is now blind. With every single mass shooting that we’ve had, we still never think that this would happen in our town.
Well today it did. Social media reported conflicting news, local news seemed to be on a delay yet the national news was right on the ball, yet I guarantee you, with national news, the events that happened today in El Paso, Texas will be forgotten around the country just like the other nine shootings that happened this year until the topic of gun violence is discussed for the length of a cup of coffee or until politicians use this event for their own agenda.
Today, the thing that we never thought would happen in our hometown actually happened.
While the rest of our friends, relatives and news media that are not in or from El Paso wonder what will happen to us, I will tell you what us El Pasoans will do.
We will grieve our losses, we will honor and bury our loved ones whom we’ve lost today, we will find out why this happened and above all, we will show this country how strong we are together.
This is El Paso, Texas. We are a city like no other. We are powered by our rich, diverse culture and the Rio Grande courses through our veins.
We are El Paso, Texas, when tragedy strikes us, we walk through it and say, “TRÁELO!” bring it! After today, if you’re feeling helpless, just remember, there is something you can do.
Donate blood, save the wounded. There are donation centers at 424 Mesa Hills and 5675 Woodrow Bean, 720 Texas Ave and several others around El Paso.
Together, we will get through this.
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