For a number of Latinos across the United States, the shooting attack in El Paso felt like a turning point, calling into question everything they thought they knew about their place in American society. Whether they are liberal or conservative, speakers of English or Spanish, recent immigrants or descendants of pioneers who put down stakes in the Southwest 400 years ago, many Latinos in interviews this week said they felt deeply shaken at the idea that radicalized white nationalism seemed to have placed them — at least for one bloody weekend — in its cross hairs.
“At least for Latinos, in some way, it’s the death of the American dream,” Dario Aguirre, 64, a Mexican-American lawyer in Denver and a registered Republican, said about the impact of the killings on him and those around him…
Residents now talk about how it feels dangerous to go out to eat or to the movies. Gun shops in the city are bustling with customers, many of them Latino.
“It’s basically out of the instinct of not wanting to be a victim,” said Zachary Zuñiga, 32, a lawyer in El Paso who signed up for a shooting course and is planning to buy his first gun.