The horrific shootings in El Paso show the folly behind glib, simplistic explanations for deadly violence. Twenty-two deaths in this single incident nearly equals the 23 victims in all El Paso murders last year. For more than a decade, this border metropolis of 680,000 has been one of America’s safest cities—despite widespread fire-arm ownership in Texas and limited gun regulation, exposing the illogic behind leftist attempts to blame deadly incidents on law-abiding gun owners.
Meanwhile, El Paso’s population is 82 percent Latino, with its low crime history undermining demagogues who connect Hispanic immigration with high levels of violence. In fact, three of the safest big cities anywhere—El Paso, San Jose and San Diego—each have disproportionately huge Latino populations, while cities with the highest murder rates—St. Louis, Baltimore, New Orleans, Detroit and Cleveland—have at most 7% Latino population, less than half the national average.
We must reject simplistic and false explanations in order to responsibly address murderous gun violence.