With another mass shooting, this time in Texas, there’s more outrage. But will the outrage lead to change?


You want to be even more outraged? Read how Texas’ governor reacted to the killings…while you’re taking a look at what’s happened on the gun violence front over the last three days.

This morning I was watching updated coverage of the latest American mass shooting, in Cleveland, Texas. You’ve probably read or heard about it. Five members of the same family were murdered, execution style, after they asked their neighbor, who was shooting his AR-15 rifle from his porch, if he would stop shooting as they had a baby in the house who was trying to sleep.

The suspect, who had been drinking, allegedly responded, “I’ll do what I want to in my front yard.”

A doorbell camera at the home of the victims at some point captured the suspect approaching the neighbor’s house with his rifle, San Jacinto County sheriff, Greg Capers, said.

Multiple people were shot around the residence, Capers said. Two female victims in a bedroom used their bodies to shield two young children who survived, he added.

“They were trying to take care of them babies and keep them babies alive,” Capers said of the victims.

Five members of the family were murdered, including a nine-year old child. According to Capers, the victims were shot above the neck at close range – “almost execution style.”

It is cruel and insensitive to the victims and their families to rank gun violence murders. They’re all horrific. But this particular mass murder was made even more appalling by a statement by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a statement that has sparked outrage by referring to the five victims of a deadly mass shooting as “illegal immigrants”.

CNN: “For nearly two days, Mr Abbott failed to address the act of senseless violence that shook residents of Cleveland, Texas. When he finally did, the first line of the statement read that Oropresa is a ‘top 10 fugitive who is in the country illegally and killed five illegal immigrants in a shooting.'” (Emphasis mine)

Oh, yeah, he got to the obligatory and empty “hearts and prayers,” in the second paragraph, but the damage was done.

Needless the say, the pushback was swift.

Actor George Takei wrote: “This is despicable. I would have thought bringing up the immigration status of the innocent victims of this senseless violence would be beneath even you. But I was wrong.”

“You can just say ‘people.’ They were people,” Michael Kagan, the director of the University of Las Vegas Immigration Clinic tweeted.

“Five human beings lost their lives and Greg Abbott insists on labeling them ‘illegal immigrants,’” responded Julián Castro, the former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

“Would it be any different if they were all born in the USA??” another Twitter user wrote.

Of course, the governor and his staff today shifted the blame. issuing a statement that suggested unnamed “federal officials” provided mistaken information indicating that all five victims were in the country illegally. Since Abbott’s initial comment Sunday, evidence has surfaced that one of the victims was a permanent legal resident of the United States.

Yeah, he said it because, you know, the Feds, Biden’s people, made him say it.

What’s wrong with this man? Or rather, what’s right with this man?

But there was another part of the coverage I watched this morning that caught my attention, a visual of five different newspaper front-page headlines reporting on shootings in their cities or towns this past weekend. Unfortunately, I wasn’t in a place to record the piece and it went by too quickly for me to get the names of the papers. So I did the next best thing – I went online to see if I could find the stories. I couldn’t. But what I found was shocking, data from an organization called The Gun Violence Archive, (from their site) “an online archive of gun violence incidents collected from over 7,500  law enforcement, media, government and commercial sources daily in an effort to provide near-real time data about the results of gun violence. GVA is an independent data collection and research group with no affiliation with any advocacy organization.”

The shocking data was the GVA’s compilation of gun violence from Friday, April 28, the day of Cleveland murders, through Sunday, April 30 – three days.

In that 72-hour period GVA reported 276 gun violence incidents resulting in a total of 108 deaths and 284 injuries. Now to be fair, although I’m not sure why I have to be fair when we talk of Americans being murdered by guns, “only” four might be considered, by definition, “mass shootings” (3+ deaths); an additional 10 of these shootings resulted in two deaths. In addition to the deaths, 38 of these shooting resulted in two or more injuries.

Some of these, I’m sure, were the result of things like gang violence (which I guess in our society don’t count) or unintentional shootings (like that’s OK). But bottom line they were all casualties.

Remember, all this carnage occurred in the last three days, the last 72 hours. Let me put the numbers in a little different perspective:

  • 276 incidents equates to 92 per day or 3.8 per hour;
  • 108 deaths equates to 36 per day or 1.5 per hour
  • 284 injuries equates to 95 per day or 3.9 per hour

If you’re interested, gun violence incidents occurred in 40 states, led by Illinois (26), followed by Ohio (16), California (15), Florida (14), Pennsylvania (14), Texas (13), North Carolina (12), Louisiana (10) and South Carolina (10). (For the complete list, click here):

Virtually every cable news show I watched today led with the Cleveland mass murder along the obligatory call for gun reform (I don’t watch Fox “News.) Most of the mainstream media is publishing editorials and op-eds condemning the violence and calling for governmental action. But the more that’s written, the more that’s said, the more that’s reported, the more I think all we’re doing is a lot of Seinfeld, “yada-yada-yada.” Seinfeld was a show about nothing; unless something drastically changes, all the reporting, all the opinions, all the anguish at the shootings, are about nothing.

Oh, before I go, I thought you’d be interested in another example of GOP insensitivity, this time from former South Carolina governor and presidential candidate, Nikki Haley (whom I wrote about the other day: Nikki Haley predicts Biden’s demise.

The day after the Cleveland mass shootings, Haley posted this tweet:

I say again, What’s wrong with these people? What’s right with these people?

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy. Besides writing Around the Block, Ted is also a guest columnist for the Palm Beach Post.

7 thoughts on “With another mass shooting, this time in Texas, there’s more outrage. But will the outrage lead to change?

  1. The governor missed the point. If those babies and children had been armed they could have stopped the perpetrator!


    1. Right…he missed the opportunity to do a GOP talking point “parlay:” Immigrants, illegal or not are bad; and armed good guys will stop armed bad guys. Time to bring back my posts from a year of so ago about the worst GOP governors. DeSantis and Abbot are way ahead of the field on their race to the bottom!


    1. Matt, thanks for your comment.

      Let me put it this way, The perpetrator was a Mexican national. As I understand it, his ability to purchase this type of firearm/weapon would have been almost impossible in his native country. Yet, as an alien, legal or not, he apparently was able to purchase this AR-15 type weapon in the US. Some kind of gun reform might have prevented this incident if he had been restricted from purchasing this weapon. And beyond that, why should any civilian, native or immigrant, be allowed to buy and carry a weapon like this. I assume the perpetrator is not a member of the 2nd Amendment’s well regulated militia.


      1. Felons are already prohibited by law from possessing firearms. So again, what additional gun reform would prevent criminals from acquiring firearms as they do?

        OTOH, had this particular felon been incarcerated, instead of set free five times, it would have been impossible for him to harm innocents.

        There’s nothing particularly dangerous or deadly about an AR-15. Indeed, California’s AWB exempts by name another firearm equivalent an AR-15 in terms of functionality, albeit not in scary-looking blackness. Trust me on this — I’ve shot the former and own the latter.

        “Well regulated” means ‘properly functioning’; the militia are the people. It does get a bit tedious when anti-gun folks repeatedly display their misunderstanding of those terms.


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