On November 5, just a few days before this issue went to press, the town of Sutherland Springs became the latest in a long line of communities forced to grapple with the horror of gun violence. What we know at this moment is that at least 26 people were killed and 20 more were injured, making it the deadliest mass shooting in modern Texas history. It’s a grim superlative, made all the more heinous by the fact that the victims were in, of all places, a church.
Between the time I write this and the time you read it, there will be countless articles written about what happened, what drove the shooter to do the unthinkable, and what, if anything, could have been done to prevent this tragedy. We can and we should search for answers. Without the full facts, we can hardly hope to craft legislative or policy changes to avert future attacks, whether by tightening the background check process or increasing access to mental health care, or both. In the days and weeks to come, Texas Monthly will be reporting online, and in time we hope to make our own contribution to the discussion in these pages.
For now, we’ll simply convey our condolences to anyone who lost a loved one. We remember those who were killed, pray for those trying to heal, and offer our support to the people of Sutherland Springs as they begin to rebuild their lives.