Commentary: An El Paso Native Reflects On Her Community

“There’s no gun culture in El Paso. It’s politically quite blue. Geographically, topographically… we’re closer to Mexico and New Mexico.”

By Norma MartinezAugust 6, 2019 8:24 am,

From Texas Public Radio:

The death toll from the El Paso shooting rose to 22 on Monday. The tragedy has deeply resonated with people throughout the nation, including TPR Morning Edition host Norma Martinez. She is from El Paso, and she offers these personal reflections on her community.

By now, you’ve already heard what a special community El Paso is. I can vouch for that.

Here’s the thing about El Pasoans. We’re world-class complainers. We bitch and whine and moan about everything – the endless traffic construction in West El Paso; high property taxes; the border fence.

You name it, we’ve complained about it. I know I have.

You’ve heard El Paso refer to itself and its Mexican neighbor Ciudad Juarez as a family. That’s exactly what it’s like – the family member everyone complains about but ultimately loves because they’re family. We don’t kill each other over our differences.

El Paso averaged 18 murders a year in the last four years.

Between 1960 and 2018 – a 58-year span? An average of 23 murders a year.

As of Monday afternoon, 22 are dead after a day of gun violence. That’s shocking for a city considered one of the safest in the U.S. We don’t go around leaving our doors unlocked, or cars running in parking lots – there IS violent crime. But those are numbers we take for granted.

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