Another Guy With Gun We Won’t Regulate Kills Six In Colorado
Yenifer Reyes of Colorado Springs, Colorado, woke up to what she thought was a thunderstorm, but it was actually the sound of gunfire. Then she started hearing the sirens. Marvin Romero thought the bangs were from a hammer on concrete.
But, no, it was a gun. These days, it seems like it's always a gun.
A man walked into a birthday party at the Canterbury Mobile Home Park just after midnight on Sunday and opened fire. He killed six people swiftly and efficiently, which is what guns enable. He then turned the gun on himself.
Colorado Springs police Lt. James Sokolik said in a news release that the gunman "drove to the residence, walked inside and began shooting people at the party before taking his own life." Investigators haven't yet publicly identified the shooter but they say he was the boyfriend of one of the women killed. Precedent would argue that he was more likely her tormentor, as there is a known link between domestic abuse and mass shootings.
Freddy Marquez told authorities that the victims were all members of the same extended family, who had come together to celebrate the birthdays of Marquez's wife and her brother.
Marquez said he and his wife and four of their children stayed at the party until about 10 p.m. Saturday, then left because his wife had to work early Sunday morning.
The party was calm, a relaxed gathering of extended family, he said. The group shared two piñata-shaped cakes and watched a boxing match.
"It was all family, so everything was fine," he said.
None of the children at the party were harmed, fortunately, but were obviously traumatized. Yenifer Reyes watched the police remove them from the scene and put them in a patrol car. She said they were “crying hysterically." The children were placed with relatives.
Marquez and his wife went to bed blissfully ignorant. It wasn't until his wife woke up around 4 a.m. and saw the missed calls on her phone that she learned the full extent of the horror that had occurred. She'd lost her mother, two brothers, and three other members of her extended family in the shooting. This will probably haunt her on every future Mother's Day and birthday.
"They were loving people," Marquez said. "Caring, happy. They'd give you the shirt off their back."
Marquez said he did not know the suspected shooter very well, and noted that he had not been at the party earlier in the evening.
Authorities say a motive wasn't immediately known. However, while Republicans will quickly label this a “mental health issue," the scientific evidence says otherwise: The problem is violent, impulsive, and angry men have far too easy access to weapons of mass death.
From Business Insider:
According to the nonprofit Everytown for Gun Safety, the majority of mass shootings in the US are in some way related to domestic or family violence. A 2018 Everytown report indicates that in at least 54% of mass shootings, the perpetrator also shot a current or former intimate partner or family member.
This was Colorado's worst mass shooting since a gunman killed 10 people at a Boulder supermarket on March 22, which was this year. That's two major mass shootings in the same state in fewer than two months.
After the Boulder gun massacre, Texas GOP Senator Ted Cruz complained that Democrats exploit these shootings as part of our ongoing effort to deny law-abiding citizens their precious guns, saying that "Every time there is a shooting, we play this ridiculous theatre where this committee gets together and proposes a bunch of laws that would do nothing to stop these murders."
It's long past time that serious people — a demographic that doesn't include Cruz — confront this nation's gun violence epidemic.
Follow Stephen Robinson on Twitter.
Looking for someone to give that cash to? Why not us?
Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."