Three Years Ago Today, A White Supremacist Walked Into a Walmart in El Paso and Killed 23 People
The Three Year Mark Falls Just Over Two Months After the Shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Another Predominantly Latinx Community
NEW YORK – Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements on the three-year mark of the El Paso shooting, in which a shooter walked into a Walmart in El Paso — a predominantly Latinx community — and shot and killed 23 people. The El Paso shooter was driven by racism against Latinx communities, and rhetoric found in his white supremacist manifesto echoed that of former President Donald Trump. The year mark will be commemorated in El Paso and across the country just two months after the tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde — another predominantly Latinx community — in which 19 elementary school students and two of their teachers were shot and killed in their classrooms.
“Today we remember the victims and survivors of the horrific attack in El Paso, and recommit ourselves to the fight to disarm hate,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Texans of all races have the right to live free from the fear of gun violence, but that won’t happen until state lawmakers start putting public safety ahead of gunmaker profits.”
“Three years ago, the El Paso community was devastated by an act of despicable violence, perpetrated in the name of white supremacy,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “It’s shameful that following violent attacks against Latinx communities in both El Paso and Uvalde, Governor Abbott has continued to do nothing but weaken gun safety laws in Texas. That’s why our historic progress on gun safety at the federal level is so important. We will continue to demand lawmakers at every level of government take meaningful action to disarm hate and end gun violence.”
“In El Paso, this day is not only a time for reflection, but a time for action. Our communities have been crying out for solutions to gun violence, but Texas lawmakers continue to ignore our calls,” said Selina Saenz, a volunteer with the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Hate has no place in our stores, in our schools, or in our state. We will keep calling on our elected officials to right the wrongs that led to this unspeakable tragedy, and hold them accountable at the polls.”
In the years following the shooting, the Biden-Harris Administration has fought the gun violence crisis head-on, including by signing into law the landmark Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the first major federal gun safety law in over a quarter century, nominating and getting Senate confirmation of an ATF Director for only the second time in history, filling a seven-year vacancy, unlocking billions for community violence intervention programs, cracking down on ghost guns, taking sweeping, cross-agency executive actions on suicide prevention, signing the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which included NICS denial notification to strengthen the background check system, and launching a multipronged effort to address rising city gun violence by combating gun trafficking and holding rogue gun dealers accountable.
Since the shooting in El Paso, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers in Texas have continued to advocate for common sense gun safety policies to keep Texas families safe. Governor Greg Abbott and state lawmakers, on the other hand, have taken no action to stem the tide of violence in Texas, instead prioritizing politics over public safety and working to weaken the state’s existing gun safety laws.
Everytown Research has tracked the rise in armed terrorism and the role of the gun lobby in exposing broader audiences to the potentially radicalizing messaging of the far right, fanning the flames of anger and fear in those already radicalized, and advocating for lax gun laws that enable violent extremists to arm themselves.