A shooting in a public library in Clovis, New Mexico, has left at least two people dead with reports of several others injured. A suspect is in custody, but as of this writing, police have not released a name or any details regarding a possible motive.
According to Las Cruces Sun-News, local resident Vanessa Aguirre was in the Clovis-Carver Public Library with her son when the shooting occurred.
“It all happened so fast,” Aguirre said.
“We took off fast. My purse is still in there.”
According to Time, Clovis Fire Department Chief Michael Nolen said that a suspect has been taken into custody and four people are being treated for injuries.
Clovis is a small city with a population of around 40,000 people approximately 200 miles east of Albuquerque, not far from Texas and the New Mexico border. According to City Data, murder is not a common crime in Clovis, with an average of one to two murders per year reported in the city over the past decade. According to KRQE News 13, 57-year-old Clovis resident Lorenzo Martinez killed 57-year-old Mary Neal because she was annoying him.
According to Mass Shooting Tracker, an organization that tracks mass shootings across the United States, this incident in Clovis, New Mexico is the 302nd mass shooting to take place in the United States in 2017. The website defines mass shootings as a “single outburst of violence in which four or more people are shot.” The site lists a total of 477 mass shootings in 2016, the nation’s deadliest year since the site began keeping track in 2013. The deadliest of this year’s mass shootings happened in Mississippi in May, when Willie Cory Godbolt killed eight people, mostly his family and friends, according to the Clarion-Ledger.
The epidemic of mass shootings in the United States lies at the center of the gun control debate. Proponents of gun control argue that stricter rules and regulations surrounding gun sales and ownership will result in fewer incidents of violence. Gun control opponents argue that harsh gun control measures violate the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, will not lead to a reduction in violence, and will leave law-abiding gun owners without adequate protection if they find themselves in situations where they could become victims. Gun control advocates point to Australia as evidence to support their view. According to NBC News, Australia essentially eliminated mass shootings and drastically reduced gun killings after implementing gun control measures following a mass shooting in 1996 when a man entered a café in Tasmania and murdered 35 people.
This tragedy in Clovis, New Mexico, will undoubtedly reignite the ongoing debate surrounding gun control in the United States.
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