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Culture

His wife—and only family—was killed in the El Paso shooting. Everyone's invited to her funeral.

More than 1,000 are expected to come.

His wife—and only family—was killed in the El Paso shooting. Everyone's invited to her funeral.

Imagine having your only family member taken from you in an act of violence while shopping at Walmart.

When Margie Reckard was killed in the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, 61-year-old Antonio Basco was left with no living relatives. Basco and Reckard had been married for 22 years.

"Me and my wife had a bond, a magnificent bond," Basco told CNN. "I never felt anything like that in my life." He said they had "a wonderful life" together.

Basco has spent every day since the shooting visiting a makeshift memorial for his wife outside of the Walmart where Reckard was shot and killed. He prays for her and talks to her. He even slept there one night.


"I can't stay away from here," Basco told CNN. "All I know is that my wife never hurt someone."

It's a heartbreaking story with a heartwarming twist. Basco has invited the public to his wife's funeral, and the supportive responses from fellow El Paso residents, as well as the rest of the country, have been overwhelming.

Perches Funeral Home posted a Facebook invitation to Reckard's funeral, and in two days it's already been shared 14,000 times. In fact, the response has been so great that the location of the funeral had to be changed to a bigger venue.

The funeral home has a capacity of 250, but at least 1,000 people are expected to come.

"We're getting calls constantly, every two or three minutes," Harrison Johnson, the funeral director at Perches Funeral Homes, told NPR. "It really surprised us." Dozens of people have already ordered flowers for the funeral as well.

People have joined Basco at his wife's Walmart memorial to offer their support. A local journalist, Carlos Armendáriz, even set up a GoFundMe page for Basco after taking his photo at the memorial and getting a strong response from people. "My intention was that people can help him as much as they can," Armendáriz told CNN.

"If it wasn't for all of these people, I don't know how I would make it," Basco said.

El Paso was rocked to its core by the mass shooting, by far the worst act of violence the peaceful community has seen. The gunman, who had penned a white supremacist manifesto explaining his motive, drove ten hours to the border city specifically to kill Mexican immigrants. Basco's wife was not his intended target, but hatred has a habit of harming indiscriminately.

RELATED: Most domestic terrorism comes from white supremacists, FBI tells lawmakers

The support that Basco is receiving is wonderful, and the way El Paso has come together in the wake of such a tragedy highlights the humanity that resides there. There is beauty in the response to this tragedy.

But it's a tragedy that never should have happened in the first place. Basco shouldn't be planning this funeral. I shouldn't be writing this article. Because the greatest country with the greatest economy that espouses the greatest freedoms and the greatest political system in the world should not be a country where people fear being shot to death while grocery shopping.

Or sitting in a movie theater.

Or attending a concert.

Or walking down a high school hallway.

Or practicing subtraction in a first-grade classroom.

In no other developed nation do children regularly rehearse what to do if a gunman enters their school. In no other developed nation do school custodians and secretaries have to learn what various kinds of bullet wounds look like in a child's body. In no other developed nation do citizens walk into a public place and immediately plan for what they'll do if someone comes in and starts shooting. That thought is rightfully horrific to people on the outside looking in.

Of course, mass shootings are not the primary sources of our gun violence rates. But the fact is that guns kill as many Americans as car accidents (in fact, more in 2017). Twice as many children died from gun violence in America as police officers and soldiers combined from 2013 to 2017. Toddlers shoot and kill more Americans than foreign-born terrorists.

We. Have. A. Problem.

RELATED: Twice as many American children die from gun violence as police officers and soldiers combined

Rather than do what every other developed nation has done—enact nationwide gun legislation that requires some combination of background checks, waiting periods, safe storage, limits on ammunition, and mandatory basic safety and usage training—to try to prevent the carnage, we rehearse for it. We accept the underlying fear and the sacrifice of children as the price we pay for America's gun obsession. We accept that a toddler pulling a gun out of his mom's purse and shooting her in the grocery store is just another manifestation of freedom. We accept a man losing his only family member in a mass shooting as the price we pay for an unreasonable attachment to and interpretation of an amendment written when guns couldn't shoot 36 people in under 30 seconds.

I hope that thousands show up to Marie Reckard's funeral to bear witness to the senseless loss of her life. I hope Antonio Basco feels uplifted by this outpouring of support from the masses. I hope the country they and millions of others whose lives have been impacted by gun violence call home finally decides that we've sacrificed enough Americans at the altar of gun rights.


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So if you've been wondering if it's just you who needs subtitles in order to watch the latest marathon-worthy show, worry no more. Vox video producer Edward Vega interviewed dialogue editor Austin Olivia Kendrick to get to the bottom of why we can't seem to make out what the actors are saying anymore. It turns out it's technology's fault, and to get to how we got here, Vega and Kendrick took us back in time.

They first explained that way back when movies were first moving from silent film to spoken dialogue, actors had to enunciate and project loudly while speaking directly into a large microphone. If they spoke and moved like actors do today, it would sound almost as if someone were giving a drive-by soliloquy while circling the block. You'd only hear every other sentence or two.

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After the athlete retires they are likely to earn a lot less money, and if they don’t adjust their spending, they’re in for some serious trouble.

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The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

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One moment in history shot Tracy Chapman to music stardom. Watch it now.

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So much courage and raw honesty is packed into the lyrics, only to be elevated by Chapman’s signature androgynous and soulful voice. Imagine being in the crowd and seeing her as a relatively unknown talent and hearing that song for the first time. Would you instantly recognize that you were witnessing a pivotal moment in musical history?

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