A 21-year-old gunman walked into a Texas Walmart in a heavily Hispanic community Saturday and opened fire, killing 20 and injuring 26. A mere 19 minutes before the shooting began, a 4-page 2,363-word manifesto titled The Inconvenient Truth surfaced online, detailing the man’s reasons for the attack as a “response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
In the first paragraph of the manifesto under the “About Me” section, the writer asserts his reasoning for his attack and includes references to the cultural destruction of Native Americans as well as his support of the Christ Church shooter in New Zealand, in which two mosques were attacked and 51 people were killed.
Tragically, the shooting in El Paso was one of two shootings this weekend as another gunman in Dayton, Ohio opened fire at a popular nightclub district killing nine people and injuring 27. The gunman, wearing body armor, was killed by authorities and no details as to why have been released as of yet other than the shooting took place outside on the street and that the shooter's sister was among the victims.
The possible reasons for the El Paso shooting are allegedly a bit more clear according to the alleged manifesto of the possible shooter. The author writes in the introduction of the manifesto in part:
In general, I support the Christchurch shooter and his manifesto. This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas. They are the instigators, not me. I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion. Some people will think this statement is hypocritical because of the nearly complete ethnic and cultural destruction brought to the Native Americans by our European ancestors, but this just reinforces my point. The natives didn’t take the invasion of Europeans seriously, and now what’s left is just a shadow of what was.
According to the New York Times, authorities are currently interviewing the suspect in the El Paso shooting Patrick Crusius, a 21-year-old from Allen, Texas and are also assessing whether the suspect is the author of the manifesto. The suspect is also a strong possibility because his LinkedIn and Facebook accounts were shut down just before the shooting. Authorities have also formally opened a ‘domestic terrorism” investigation.
In the lengthy manifesto, the writer details further reasons in separate sections to include “Political Reasons,” “Economic Reasons,” “Personal Reasons and Thoughts,” and “Reaction.”
Though many responses on social media assert the writer of the manifesto is fueled by right-wing ideals, the writer criticizes both parties.
In short, America is rotting from the inside out, and peaceful means to stop this seem to be nearly impossible. The inconvenient truth is that our leaders, both Democrat AND Republican, have been failing us for decades … The heavy Hispanic population in Texas will make us a
Democrat stronghold. Losing Texas and a few other states with heavy Hispanic population to the Democrats is all it would take for them to win nearly every presidential election. Although the
Republican Party is also terrible.
In the longest written section, “Economic Reasons,” the writer explains that young people seeking employment today need to get more education at higher rates than in the past to work “menial, low paying [sic] and unfulfilling jobs.”
The writer also mentioned corporations over-harvesting resources and the destruction of our environment, drawing comparisons to The Lorax by Dr. Suess. The writer then gave a “logical step“ for a possible shooting:
Corporations that also like immigration because more people means a bigger market for their products. I just want to say that I love the people of this country, but god damn most of y’all are just too stubborn to change your lifestyle. So the next logical step is to decrease the number of people in America using resources.
Perhaps most disturbing is the section headlined “Gear” in which the writer describes his choice of weapons to include the AK-47 and the ability of bullets to lethally wound a person.
He writes a final justification for his actions citing them as faultless.
America can only be destroyed from the inside-out. If our country falls, it will be the fault of traitors. This is why I see my actions as faultless. Because this isn’t an act of imperialism but an act of preservation. America is full of hypocrites who will blast my actions as the sole result of racism and hatred of other countries, despite the extensive evidence of all the problems these invaders cause and will cause. People who are hypocrites because they support imperialistic wars that have caused the loss of tens of thousands of American lives and untold numbers of civilian lives. The argument that mass murder is okay when it is state-sanctioned is absurd. Our government has killed a whole lot more people for a whole lot less.
Responses to the shootings at a National level
In addition to the shootings at El Paso and Dayton, political leaders and social media are responding en masse to the shooting in California earlier last week at a popular Garlic festival last Sunday in which three people were killed and thirteen were wounded.
At the time of the writing of this article, #WhiteSupremacistTerrorism was trending nationally.
Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico tweeted her support of the tragedies.
“Gilroy. El Paso. Dayton. 3 mass shootings in 1 week. Countless families mourning. I’m sending my love to them all as they grapple with these tragedies, & I’m calling on @senatemajldr (U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell) to do the right thing & bring gun violence prevention bills to a vote."
Rep. Veronica Escobar from El Paso told the New York Times, “Not speaking about this particular instance, which is still under investigation, the manifesto narrative is fueled by hate, and it is fueled by racism and bigotry and division.”
What's the plan for preventing the next violent attack?
In an opinion-editorial posted to Indian Country Today last week titled What's the plan for preventing the next violent attack? by Eric Rosand and Stevan Weine, the authors present several ideas for creating a potential “comprehensive strategy for addressing the growing number of attacks such as we have seen in San Bernardino, Pittsburgh, Orlando, Poway, Parkland and, of course, Charlottesville.”
And now, Dayton, Ohio and El Paso Texas. Dayton now marks the 250th mass shooting in 2019.
Rosand and Weine write in part:
Protecting against this type of violence is not only about access to guns or more resources for law enforcement, or securing places of worship or other “soft” targets. It’s also about drawing upon and investing in the public health prevention strategies that value early detection and early action by non-law enforcement professionals and others in the community.
Despite the progress in some of the United States’ closest allies, including in Australia, Canada, and Europe, our government leaders are not doing enough to make advances in this space. We are reactive, not preventive, and are guided more by fear or assumptions than scientific evidence or sound theory.
They also cite three ideas worth exploring, to include convening a White House summit, reorienting federal funding for locally-led efforts to prevent extremist violence that President Trump slashed, and creating a national network to prevent extremist and other targeted violence made up of multi-disciplinary professionals and practitioners around the country.
Tragically, the authors did not realize how soon their words would ring true at the end of the op-ed:
When the next attack comes before November 2020 — as we know it will — each candidate will be asked for his or her reaction; each will try to find the right words for the moment. However, this is an issue that needs more than clever words; it requires leadership and policies that emphasize prevention, both of which have been lacking.