Six Colorado High School Students Take Bullets For Gun Freedom

Monday afternoon, six teenagers were hanging out at Nome Park in Aurora, Colorado, across the street from their high school. For no reason anyone can yet determine, the teens were shot by gun-toting cowards who drove away after the sneak attack. The students, aged 14 to 18, were hospitalized with what the police describe as non-life-threatening injuries. However, one student required emergency surgery.

Central High School was placed on lockdown while the police secured the perimeter. According to Fox31, sources inside the school said that kids were locked in classrooms and quiet. That's reportedly the protocol for situations like this, and let's all take a moment to thank the Second Amendment for granting us the freedom to have “protocols" for situations like this. It's quite the inheritance we've left our children.

Aurora's Republican Mayor Mike Coffman released this statement, which predictably refused to address the larger problem.

A shooting today in a park by Aurora Central High School has left six young people hospitalized. My prayers are with the injured and their families. As the facts surrounding this incident become known, I look forward to hearing from our Chief of Police and from our District Attorney about what actions will be taken to apprehend and prosecute, to the fullest extent of the law, those responsible for this incident. The most important function of government is the protection of its people and I strongly believe that public safety must always be the top priority for this city.

Well, at least Coffman offered his prayers. I was worried no one would think of that. I wonder if politicians who reflexively offer their thoughts and prayers after mass shootings actually follow through. Do they kneel at their beds and say the names of those lost or is this all just performative bullshit?

Fox 31 reported that there'd been recent gun-related violence in Nome Park, but it's not clear yet why the six teens were targeted. Aurora Chief of Police Vanessa Wilson described the increased gun violence in the community as a “public health crisis." She said, "This is not all on law enforcement. We need to get through to our kids and figure out a way to stop this."

Youth group leaders in Aurora claim that gun violence has steadily increased during the pandemic. The gap between shootings has decreased, as well as the ages of both the victims and shooters. Ten teenagers have been shot in Aurora in just the last 30 days.

The Struggle of Love Foundation is asking for volunteers to help communities in need of guidance. Mentors like Elijah Beauford, also known as Young Activist, strives to help kids in the same community he grew up in.

"You see 14, 15, 16 year olds, who are barely able to get a part-time job, out here murdering each other," said Beauford. "These are babies killing each other. How are they accessing these guns and why do they feel like that's the solution?"

The Giffords Law Center To Prevent Gun Violence gives Colorado's gun laws a C plus. Residents don't need a gun license to open carry, and no permit is required to carry a concealed weapon in your vehicle. There's also no specific waiting period between the purchase and transfer of a firearm. If young people killing each other is a problem, you might want to cut back on potential impulse gun purchases.

In 2012, a gunman killed 12 people and and wounded 58 in an Aurora movie theater during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. Another well-regulated lunatic shot and killed 10 people at a Boulder, Colorado, supermarket in March.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Colorado implemented some reasonable mitigation methods. If gun violence is truly a public health crisis affecting the most vulnerable, the state might consider passing better gun laws. The thoughts and prayers aren't working.

[New York Times]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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