Loretta Lynn Speaks Out After El Paso, Dayton Shootings: ‘This Hatred Isn’t Us’
After two separate mass shootings -- one in El Paso, Texas, and one in Dayton, Ohio -- left more than two dozen people dead and more than four dozen people injured on Saturday (Aug. 3), country icon Loretta Lynn spoke out on social media. Her words do not veer into the political realm, but rather focus on the hatred she sees spreading across America.
"It's too much for any heart," Lynn wrote on Facebook on Sunday morning (Aug. 4). "I think of the mommas, the husbands, the wives, the children."
As a country star, Lynn has traveled extensively throughout the United States -- "I've been to the big cities and the tiniest county fairs in America," she writes -- and has seen "her goodness and her beautiful people," she says. She adds, "I love them all. This hatred isn't us. It has to stop."
"Let's pray for El Paso and Dayton," Lynn concludes, "and for the country I love with all my heart."
On Saturday morning, 20 people were killed and 26 more were injured, CNN reports, when a 21-year-old gunman opened fire at an El Paso shopping center. Authorities are investigating a racist, anti-Hispanic immigrant "manifesto" believed to have been posted online by the white shooter shortly before he opened fire. The FBI has opened a domestic terrorism investigation related to the tragedy, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is calling the shooting a hate crime.
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The shooting in Dayton, meanwhile, took place in a downtown, nightclub-filled area, according to CNN, around 1AM local time. Nine people were killed and at least 26 people were injured by a gunman who has yet to be identified. Both he and the El Paso shooter used semi-automatic-style guns.
The weekend's two shootings -- which occurred within 13 hours of each other -- are the second and third headline-grabbing mass shootings to occur within one week. On July 28, three people died and at least 12 more were injured at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California, after a 19-year-old gunman opened fire on the festival crowd with a semi-automatic rifle.
According to the non-profit Gun Violence Archive, there have been 251 mass shootings -- defined as any incident during which four or more people, not including the shooter, were shot or killed -- in the United States in 2019. Aug. 4 is the 216th day of the year.
Lynn -- who has stayed largely out of the public eye since suffering a stroke in May of 2017 -- rose to fame in the 1960s and '70s thanks to her honest, true-to-life songs, many of which took on feminist topics ("The Pill" and "Rated X," for example). The 87-year-old shared that she supported now-president Donald Trump in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election.
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