26 dead in largest mass shooting in Texas history


ABC News

   At 11:30am, central time on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, Devin Patrick Kelley walked into the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and opened fire.  As Kelley shot churchgoers, a resident of Sutherland Springs who lived next to the church grabbed his rifle and shot Kelley in the leg, forcing Kelley to drop his weapon and flee.  As Kelley fled the church, police and armed resident chased him to a nearby county, where Kelley crashed his car–eventually leading to his death.  

Per CNN, at least 26 people died in the wake of what Texas Governor Greg Abbott called, “the largest mass shooting in Texas history.”  Kelley was a member of the United States Air Force, serving from 2010 to 2014 in Holloman Air Base in New Mexico, until a misconduct discharge. He also got court-martialed in 2012 for an attack on his wife and children.  After being discharged from the military, Kelley worked as a security guard at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Texas, a job he held until his attack on the church.  

   The attack and the quick response of neighboring citizens raises an ongoing debate about gun laws in the United States.  Proponents of gun control in the United States argue that tighter background checks would prevent people from getting guns easily, therefore lowering the chance of crimes and massacres.  

   Opponents of gun control, such as the NRA (National Rifle Association), however, say that in the wake of the shooting it is clear that people who want guns can get them illegally, and the shooter might not have been stopped if it weren’t for the law-abiding citizens who stopped him with their guns.  

   Caitlyn Ossa (‘19) says, “Gun control is a controversial topic.  Personally, I view guns as a tool for self defense, but I see both sides.”   Shyam Arya (‘18) offers a different viewpoint, saying, “I think that gun control is an important issue, but the Texas Massacre in particular isn’t the only reason to have more gun control.  Instead, I think that it sheds light on an already important issue that needs to be dealt with more.”   All in all, the Texas massacre is a part of a larger debate, which Americans grapple with on a daily basis.