by Albert Perez
Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
In 2023 there was a shooting in the food court at Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas. This event happened less than a mile from the August 3, 2019 Walmart Massacre. I will try to rehearse the facts of this case and then go over interpretations and commentary.
At approximately 5:05 PM on Wednesday 15 February 2023 there was a confrontation between a co-ed group of 6 ranging in age from 14 to 17 and an all-male group of 4 ranging in age from 15 to 20. The confrontation escalated and a 16-year-old member of the all-male group drew a stolen handgun and killed a 17-year-old member of the co-ed group and shot and injured another member of the co-ed group. A member of the all- male group was also injured (to date news source are unclear on how). The shooter ran towards the crowd with gun in hand and pointed it in the direction of a bystander who happened to be heeled and responded by shooting the 16-year-old gunman who was hospitalized. Meanwhile, an off-duty policeman working mall security subdued a suspect, reports are unclear as to whether that was the bad actor shooter, the self-defense shooter, or another member of the fighting groups, there was a strong response by multiple law-enforcement agencies who secured the mall, escorted those customers trapped in the mall to safety (a whole bunch, to be honest), and searched for evidence. The mall was closed to business until Thursday night, essentially until Friday morning. Coverage by El Paso media was thorough and as much as possible strictly factual (Joe Friday would have been proud).
All persons involved were Latinos (Latinas) and according to police reports the incident was not gang related. The police had yet to reveal the cause of the altercation at the time this was written.
The above reviews the facts of the case as available through the El Paso media through 1:00 PM Sunday, 19 February, 2023. This includes reports by the staffers of KVIA and press conferences by the El Paso Police Department (EPPD).
Now for observations, interpretations, and opinions. The first is that the incident was not a hate crime; rather, it reflects the pattern that most homicides are between members of the same race/ethnic group. That all persons involved, including the “good guy with a gun” who stopped the shooter were Latino in El Paso is about as unusual as if a similar event in Baile Atha Claith was an all Irish event. That does not mean that the left will not try to push that it was a hate crime since the victims were Latino to rev up stats “proving” that the USA and Texas are hopelessly racist.
This incident will be counted as a mass shooting since 4 people were shot and used to promote support for stricter gun control laws, especially “assault weapon” bans. This is dishonest for a variety of reasons, the first one being that semi-automatic rifles were not used in the incident, rather bot identified shooters used handguns. Secondly, the term “mass shooting” brings to mind a bigotry driven massacre or the slaughter of innocent bystanders. This incident was a brawl in which only participants were shot and no innocent bystanders were injured. Indeed, the incident was broken up by “a good guy with a gun.”
Gun control laws would have done nothing to prevent the incident. Killing brawls between groups of young men have been going on for so long they ended up being a central element of a play by William Shakespeare. The criminal shooter was 16, which is underage to carry a pistol in Texas which is either 18 or 21*. The gun he had was stolen. So far our babosito** has committed two crimes, on top of this he was carrying in a posted no gun zone, which constitutes a third crime. Obviously, more gun control laws would not have disarmed someone so determined to break gun laws.
If anything, the only thing that prevented a worse outcome was that at least one other person carrying a concealed pistol in disregard of the posted no guns stopped babosito before he could flip out and open up on innocent bystanders unintentionally blocking his escape (police report there were at least two other armed bystanders. to me, the magic phrase is at least.). One has to wonder about a law which obeying would lead to worse results than disregarding.
The Law enforcement response to the event can only be described as overwhelming. EPPD, Border Patrol, FBI, El Paso Independent School District Police, and others responded. To be honest, if I was a customer trapped in a store by this mess or had loved ones there this would be downright reassuring. On the other hand, if you fear a police state, a couple of hundred LEO’s, many in cammo and toting M4’s available to descend on any thing that displeased the state, not so reassuring. Mind you, this is the same bunch that supervised a Black Lives Matter/Defund the Police march and a Support the Thin Blue Line march going passed each other on the same street and kept the peace. Can’t decide if they’re that tender of people’s rights, that bad ass, or that combo of both.
The current US President and his supporters and the liberal media are conflating this installment of a tale as old as time with the actions of sociopaths seeking notoriety and bigots striking at those they hate.It will be used to panic people to into trading their birthright of freedom for the pottage of temporary security(Love mixing the Bible and Ben Franklin). It will be used to support victim disarmament laws, many of which are irrelevant to the facts of the case. In fact, if even current laws were strictly enforced, there would have been no good guy with a gun there to keep things from getting worse.
Some kids got in a fight and one pulled a gun, shot one of the guys on the other side dead and injured two other people before a third party used their gun to stop him. I reached certain conclusions from these events, feel free to reach your own.
*A District Court recently ruled that denying people 18 and under the right to go heeled is unconstitutional if they are otherwise qualified. I am unsure as to whether that applies to the whole state or only the district in which it was made.
**Baboso – person drooling on themselves from stupidity plus ito, male diminutive suffix. Little idiot with less flavor.
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