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Feeling unsafe

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Maria Ramos Pacheco

About 18 years ago, a terrorist attack in New York City started a wave of insecurity that was felt throughout the country.  

Sept. 11, 2001 is a date that people in the United States will never forget. 

Although it’s been nearly two decades, I do not feel safe – especially after El Paso’s recent mass shooting at the Cielo Vista Walmart — less than 10 miles from our university. 

On Sept. 11, nearly 3,000 people died in New York City, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania.

Last monthPatrick Crusius, a man with an AK-47-style assault rifle, allegedly shot and killed 22 people in El Paso and injured many more as they shopped on a Saturday morning. 

Crusius drove almost 600 miles to get to the place where he opened fire against innocent people, said El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen. 

The recent mass shooting has made me feel unsafe in a city I call home. Although it has been years since Sept. 11, hundreds of tragedies have continued to occur within this country. 

We cannot afford, as a country, to continue losing people because of gun violence or any other form of domestic terrorism which, according to the FBI, is “perpetrated by individuals and/or groups inspired by or associated with primarily U.S.-based movements that espouse extremist ideologies of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature. 

The first step people need to take in order to reestablish the sense of safety in the U.S. is to be closer to each other and leave behind any prejudices. Instead of fighting over differences, people need to acknowledge and appreciate what makes others unique. 

While I am not trying to compare these two dates whatsoever; I want to draw a parallel between them and help people see and understand the bigger picture. Hate, in any form, is never going to lead us into a better future. 

Now, these tragic events that have affected the nation are part of our history and are going to be taught in classrooms. I hope history will also teach how people came together to show support to everyone in the affected communities.  

Maria Ramos Pacheco may be reached at p[email protected] 

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