Violence hits home

El Paso students share feelings on shooting


A woman touches a cross at a makeshift memorial for victims outside Walmart, near the scene of a mass shooting which left at least 22 people dead, on August 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. Walmart Inc. announced on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019m, it will phase out sales of ammunition for handguns and short-barrel rifles. (Mario Tama/Getty Images/TNS)

Story by Jenna Williamson, advertising editor

Victims. The whole city of El Paso immediately transformed from innocent people to victims of a hateful crime. They were vulnerable, attacked and devastated. It was a time that no outsider could fathom. However, students from local high schools give insight into the direct effects of this terror.

“When I first got word of the shooting, I initially felt shock,” said senior Paloma Palmer from Eastwood High School. “There’s really no other word to describe it just because something like that could never come from El Paso, being that it is such a loving and caring community.” 

The idea of having an attack of that magnitude is already hard to process, but when it’s happening in your hometown, it’s unfathomable.  

“At first, I thought to myself, ‘El Paso?’ I couldn’t believe there was a mass shooting in my hometown,” said senior Gibby Widner from Eastlake High School. “I wanted to make sure that all of my loved ones were safe, but I also was [thinking] no one should ever have to have the feeling of being scared to go out shopping knowing you could potentially be in a mass shooting.”

It’s a feeling like no other. Routine activities in everyday life have now become the things that citizens fear the most.

 “This is what our society has come to,” Widner said. “We have to tell our brothers and sisters what to do in case of an event like this occurring. It’s ridiculous.” 

As a result, issues such as this one, gun control and mass shooting protection have become topics that are discussed constantly. School teachers are implementing ways to keep their students safe, giving them assignments on what to do in order to ensure they are prepared for the unthinkable.

 “I have my own beliefs about how we should handle issues such as these,” Palmer said. “However, I believe that we need to incorporate things such as more extensive background checks or better protocol for purchasing weapons. Whatever the solution, or fix, is, it’s up to our generation to find it and put it in place. We have to stop tragedies, like this one, from happening.”

Controversy seems to surround mass shootings, with a solution no where in sight.

 “What if that were you or your loved one in that situation?” Widner said. “My city was attacked. My home. We need to do something, and we need to do it now.”