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        國際英語新聞:Spotlight: Consecutive mass shootings hit U.S., invoking pain, anger

        Source: Xinhuanet    2019-08-05  我要投稿   論壇   Favorite  

        WASHINGTON, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- Two mass shootings in the United States left 29 people dead and dozens injured, invoking a familiar pain and anger at the country's leadership for its role in the repeated attacks.

        Two shootings taking place within 13 hours, one in a Walmart supermarket in the city of El Paso, Texas, and the other in a popular bar district in Dayton, Ohio, were the latest episodes in a growing trend of gun violence in the country, which is deadlocked on whether to place more stringent measures on gun ownership.

        Many point their fingers at the White House as they look for answers to the repeated violence, alleging controversial remarks made by the country's top leader have spurred hateful actions across the country.

        SHOOTINGS

        On Saturday, a 21-year-old white male opened fire at throngs of shoppers in a Walmart, killing at least 20 and injuring 26 others, according to El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen.

        The suspect, identified as Patrick Crusius, was taken into custody and is believed to have acted on anti-immigrant sentiment.

        "There is a potential nexus to a hate crime," according to Allen, who said the suspect had published a four-page manifesto online that called the attack "a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas."

        While authorities are trying to determine whether Crusius authored the document, they are probing the case as an act of domestic terrorism.

        The motive and extent of the carnage have prompted authorities to eye possible capital punishment for Crusius. "He is eligible for the death penalty. We will seek the death penalty," El Paso District Attorney Jaime Esparza told reporters.

        Across the country in the state of Ohio, 13 hours later, another gunman opened fire at a bar district in the city of Dayton, killing nine people and injuring 27 others.

        The gunman, who was killed at the scene less than a minute after he began the shooting spree, was later identified as Connor Betts, a 24-year-old white male.

        According to police reports, the suspect donned a bulletproof vest, mask, hearing protecting and was carrying at least 100 rounds, in addition to firearms.

        The victims, four women and five men aged between 22 and 57, included the suspect's younger sister, who came to the area with him but separated sometime before the shooting.

        While the authorities have yet to determine the motive for the attack, they have confirmed that the firearms the suspect carried were purchased legally, and there was nothing in the person's history that had raised flags with authorities.

        GRIEF

        People across the country were saddened by the shootings, with many expressing solidarity with those affected.

        Veronica Escobar, who represents the El Paso region in the U.S. House of Representatives, said, "El Paso is facing the indescribable pain and horror that too many other American communities have had to endure. Our hearts are completely broken by this needless loss of life, especially here in our beautiful home."

        Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who is running for president, took to Twitter to vent his frustration, "How many lives must be cut short? How many communities must be torn apart?"

        On Sunday afternoon, U.S. President Donald Trump ordered flags in the country to be flown at half-staff for five days until Aug. 8 in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the shootings.

        "Our Nation mourns with those whose loved ones were murdered in the tragic shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, and we share in the pain and suffering of all those who were injured in these two senseless attacks," Trump said in a proclamation.

        Approaching Sunday evening, the site of the shooting in Dayton has been reopened, and multiple vigils are planned for both Dayton and El Paso.

        ANGER

        For some people, the repeating gun violence is senseless. They said action has to be taken to impose stricter rules to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands.

        At a demonstration in front of the White House, members of activist group Moms Demand Action chanted slogans such as "Not one more!" "No more silence, end gun violence!"

        Larry Lipton, a member of the group from Michigan, told Xinhua that "something has to be done," while lamenting "there are people in the government that are blocking it."

        "We are not going to stop until we get gun safety legislation," he said. "We are going to keep fighting until we have gun safety in schools, in churches, in shopping malls."

        Lipton said his group calls for universal background checks, red flag laws, raising the age requirements for owning a gun, among other changes.

        Others drew the link between the violence and racially charged remarks made by Trump, alleging the remarks "encouraged" violence, especially those motivated by hate against a racial group, a religious group, or immigrants.

        "Trump...is encouraging more racism in this country, and this is incredibly dangerous for the United States," former lawmaker representing the El Paso region Beto O'Rourke, who is running for president, told the press Sunday in response to the attacks.

        Other Democratic candidates, including South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, also lashed out at Trump, holding him responsible for the atrocities.


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