On the morning of the 3rd of August 2019, hundreds of people flocked to a Walmart to shop. It was a Saturday, and, because millions of Americans work during the week, Saturday is the best day to go grocery shopping.
Tragically, for those shopping in this particular east-side El Paso Walmart, this Saturday trip would cost them their lives.
Margie Kay Reckard was one of the twenty-two civilians murdered in broad daylight by a lone gunman; twenty-four other shoppers were injured when the twenty-one-year-old gunman opened fire.
The mass-murderer was subsequently arrested and has been charged with capital murder.
For those left behind, though, this comes as little comfort as the families and loved ones of the El Paso shooting victims have been left to bury their dead.
Margie Kay Reckard only left behind one person, her husband, Antonio Basco.
Margie and Antonio were each other's world. Now that she has gone, he is completely alone.
'Til death do us part.Margie and Antonio married in 1997. This year, they celebrated twenty-two years of marriage.
"When I met her, she was an angel and she still is."Talking about his late wife to KFOX14, Antonio explained that he misses his wife dearly and that she will always be his angel.
"I was supposed to be the strong one, but I found out I’m the weak one and she’s going to be missed a lot."Losing his wife has left Antonio with an unimaginable amount of heartache. His life was Margie and, now that she has gone, everything has changed.
The mass shooter was a domestic terrorist and the shootings were a hate crime.Shortly before opening fire in the Walmart, the terrorist posted a white nationalist and anti-immigrant manifesto on message board website, 8chan.
Margie Reckard was a loving wife. She was not a threat to anyone.Antonio talked about how loving and compassionate his late-wife was. She was smart, too: "I mean you didn’t even have to be there to talk to her, you could just look at how she was, how she acted, how she presented herself she was an awesome lady," he said. “You see Margie, more or less was the brains of the family."
After the El Paso shooting, there were calls to make stricter gun laws.But those on the side of keeping things as they are were quick to assess the shooter's motives. The age-old conversation about mass shootings being a consequence of "mental illness, racism, sexism, video games," can't keep going around and around. As Vox puts it: "All of those things exist in countries across the world, many with much less gun violence. What is unique about the U.S. is that it makes it so easy for people with any motive or problem to obtain a gun."
The young shooter's racism must have come from somewhere.The gunman was clearly "anti-immigrant" - as he made clear when he posted his white supremacist and anti-immigrant manifesto online just before the shooting. The left is calling for the witchhunt against immigrants to end and is suggesting that President Trump's casual racism and anti-immigrant rhetoric is the source of the growing number of hate crimes being carried out across the country.
Less than a month before the shooting, Trump was stirring up hate on Twitter.The president has a long track record of racism. The president's father, Fred Trump, even famously refused to rent property to African-Americans and would lie when they asked whether he had rooms available. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree... Despite Trump claiming to be "the least racist person in America," less than a month before the El Paso shooting, he told four new democratic members of Congress to “go back" to the “corrupt" countries he said they are from.
Not only were Trump's comments offensive, but they were also (of course) inaccurate.
You’re right, Mr. President - you don’t have a racist bone in your body. You have a racist mind in your head, and… https://t.co/E5Feby2mNS— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1563290432.0
Trump has been stirring racial hate in the U.S. even before he was elected.At a rally in North Carolina, on the week that Trump tweeted against the women in congress (who are known as The Squad), a crowd chanted "send her back." It's this kind of "us and them" mentality that Trump breeds in his supporters that leads to the kind of horrendous atrocities that takes innocent lives like Margie's.
"There are so many different issues that are weaving themselves into a braid of violence into our country. One of them is white supremacist terrorism."The voice of, in my opinion, reason in modern politics, and my personal hope for a brighter future in the United States, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, spoke out after the El Paso shooting. AOC condemned Trump's racist rhetoric that has created such a hostile environment within the U.S. and stated that the president “is directly responsible for what happened in El Paso."
AOC went to El Paso in July, before the shootings, to visit border facilities.Along with a group of democrats, Ocasio-Cortez, visited El Paso to see for herself the conditions in two border facilities in Clint and El Paso, Texas. The group wanted to raise awareness of the poor conditions in the facilities by sharing what they witnessed on Twitter.
AOC had her phone confiscated by officers and received abuse from those supposed to be in charge.
And to these CBP officers saying they felt “threatened” by me - They were literally discussing making a GoFundMe f… https://t.co/9sW7vO7fgK— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1562033847.0
Fortunately, congressman, Joaquin Castrot, managed to keep hold of his phone and he recorded the horrific conditions.
This moment captures what it’s like for women in CBP custody to share a cramped cell—some held for 50 days—for them… https://t.co/NMWx0BdIw8— Joaquin Castro (@Joaquin Castro)1562025413.0
AOC exposed what was happening at the El Paso border facility in a series of tweets.
What’s haunting is that the women I met with today told me in no uncertain terms that they would experience retribu… https://t.co/V6GBsH9zty— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1562015288.0
Rep. Veronica Escobar is calling for transparency and accountability.
We need greater transparency, oversight, and especially after the reports about the vile Facebook group, we need ac… https://t.co/3EpTlMWXOD— Rep. Veronica Escobar (@Rep. Veronica Escobar)1562018054.0