As a strong Second Amendment advocate, as I'm sure all of you are, I think we still have to acknowledge that shootings are on the rise, including mass shootings. Obviously, it's not the guns' fault, it's the mindset of the people that are being raised today. I remember the first time I had ever heard of something like this was in 1999 with Columbine. It wouldn't be until 2007, 8 years later that we would see something of that magnitude again. But then it would only be two years later that we saw a large one again with Fort Hood. And then in 2012 with Aurora, Colorado. Then later that year with Sandy Hook. Since then, they've become increasingly frequent.
Then last year in 2022 there were 13 shootings with 10 or more victims. That's how many there were for the next 10 years following Columbine. That's how bad it's gotten.
Thankfully, good guys with guns always seem to step in to save the day when allowed to. On February 15th, 2023, another potential massacre was averted when an armed citizen shot and wounded a suspected gunman in a fatal El Paso mall shooting. The incident occurred at the Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas.
According to police, two groups of people had gotten into an altercation near the mall's food court. During the altercation, one of the individuals pulled out a gun and opened fire. A bystander with a valid license to carry then fired back at the shooter, wounding him. The suspect fled the scene but was later apprehended by police.
The bystander's quick thinking and bravery likely saved many lives that day. Had he not intervened, it's possible that this could have been another mass shooting like the one that occurred at the same Walmart across from Cielo Vista Mall in 2019. In that attack, 23 people were killed and dozens more injured by a white supremacist gunman who targeted Hispanics.
While there is no single solution to this problem, there are steps we can take to reduce gun violence and make our communities safer places for everyone. We can also work together and get to a place where people can come together peacefully instead of resorting to violence when faced with disagreements or conflicts.
Ultimately, it's up to us as citizens to take action if we want our communities to be safer places for everyone involved.