Update, 11:26 PM ET, 08/04/2019: This post was updated to reflect that Andre Anchondo was confirmed dead.
At least 20 people are dead after a shooting at a Wal-Mart in El Paso, Texas. Among them, according to The Associated Press, was Jordan Anchondo. She was just 25.
Anchondo’s sister, Leta Jamrowski, told The Associated Press that Anchondo’s 2-month-old son was being treated for broken bones because Anchondo fell while shielding him:
“From the baby’s injuries, they said that more than likely my sister was trying to shield him. So when she got shot she was holding him and she fell on him, so that’s why he broke some of his bones. So he pretty much lived because she gave her life.”
Her being a mom, or dying while saving her baby doesn’t make her death any more important than the other 19 who died. But it is so, so sad. What’s worse is that Anchondo’s husband, Andre Anchondo, was confirmed dead on Sunday. Their three children are orphans now. Is the suffering that this family going to experience not enough to spur lawmakers to take some sort of action? To demand that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) allow a bill to the Senate floor?
There’s a 2015 tweet that gets passed around after every shooting that says, “In retrospect Sand Hook marked the end of the US gun control debate. Once America decided killing children was bearable, it was over.” It’s always relevant and pithy, regardless of casualty levels.
While the fate of the Anchondo family is horrific, they weren’t the only family to suffer this weekend. Early Sunday morning, at least nine more people were killed while another 26 were injured in a shooting in Dayton, OH.
When will Americans be deemed worthy of enough by our lawmakers to spur action? When will they listen to the work of anti-violence activists, including the hundreds who marched on the Capitol on Saturday to protest the violence in El Paso? Because Congress has such a long list of duties to keep the country running, I’d like to know what number of fatalities, what type of victim, what exactly will make them pay attention to us? When will our lawmakers actually do something to keep us safe?
If two mass shootings in less than 24 hours won’t make them listen and won’t spur them to action, what will? I must know.