AP Photo/David Zalubowski
Ever since the Aurora theater shooting several years ago, Colorado has been on an anti-gun slide. In fairness, it wasn’t just the theater shooting. It was the fact that it was the second major mass shooting in the state that probably set people off. I understand that. I also understand the desire to do something, anything, to try and prevent shootings.
On Tuesday, we found out that gun control efforts failed to stop yet another mass shooting.
Last month, as the 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting approached, STEM School Highlands Ranch joined hundreds of schools near Denver in closing temporarily amid security concerns. The anniversary came and went, and schools returned to their routines.
But on Tuesday afternoon, the STEM school’s worst fears were realized when nine of its students were shot, one fatally, and two fellow students were being held as suspects.
“We know two individuals walked into the STEM school, got deep inside the school and engaged students in two separate locations,” Sheriff Tony Spurlock of Douglas County said at a news conference.
At 6:45 p.m., about five hours after the shooting, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office released a statement confirming that one of the nine who had been shot, an 18-year-old man, had died.
Sheriff Spurlock said the suspects, who were armed with a handgun and other weapons, confronted law enforcement officers when they arrived. He said the suspects, [name redacted] and one juvenile, were not injured.
“I can tell you that there were shots fired,” he said. “Our officers went in and engaged the suspects. We did struggle with the suspects to take them into custody.”
Now, let’s be clear here. We still know very little. This happened on Tuesday. I’m writing this on Wednesday morning fairly early. There’s still not a lot of information, though more will likely come out soon.
What we do know is the suspect who has been identified by name is an 18-year-old man, who was a senior at the school. The other alleged shooter is a minor, so their name will not be released yet.
As per usual, anti-gun lawmakers wasted no time hopping up on the bodies of the slain to push for more gun control, even before the facts are in.
On Twitter, Colorado Rep. Jason Crow, who represents Douglas County, called for stricter gun control laws.
“It is not enough to send thoughts and prayers, it is empty, it is weak, and it does an injustice to our children who are on the frontlines of this violence,” Crow, a Democrat, wrote.
“We must pass common-sense gun violence laws and ensure we are preparing our educators and law enforcement with the tools and resources necessary to create a safe and welcoming environment. This must stop,” he added.
To Crow, I have to ask, what gun control law being discussed would have prevented this tragedy?
We already restrict ownership of handguns to those over the age of 21, and yet the oldest shooter involved is 18. We still don’t know what the other weapons supposedly were or how they were obtained.
Further, Crow is ignoring the gun control already on the books in Colorado, things like magazine bans and such, that did nothing to prevent this senseless tragedy.
No, what kept the body count low on this one is a speedy police response. Law enforcement was reportedly on the scene in something like two minutes, which saved a lot of lives. The good guys with guns showed up fairly quickly. Imagine if good guys with guns had already been on the scene.
Following Parkland, many on the pro-gun side started talking about the need to harden our schools. The other side shrieked in horror at the idea, instead opting to prattle on about assault weapon bans and universal background checks. Had there been a concerted effort to harden schools, to make them more difficult targets for mass shooters, these two might not have been able to penetrate deep into the school in their coordinated attack.
So who is really costing students their lives again?
Editor’s note: This post has been updated with additional information.