AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File
Yesterday was a tense day for many Coloradans. Columbine is still burned in their collective memories, a memory still stinging two decades later. The idea that an 18-year-old woman obsessed with Columbine had come to the state, bought a shotgun, and was running loose was terrifying. It had to be.
Fortunately, the only one shot was herself. While it doesn’t end grief, it does limit it to her loved ones instead of entire communities.
Unsurprisingly, questions are now being asked about how this could happen.
Authorities say that the woman whose alleged threats led to closures of schools along the Front Range on Wednesday had purchased a shotgun in Colorado legally.
But a review of federal law indicates the sale may have been illegal. She flew to Colorado from Florida on Monday and purchased the shotgun from Colorado Gun Broker, a store about two miles from Columbine High School, according to a Fox31 report. The gun seller said on Facebook he complied with the law and the woman passed a background check.
The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms pointed CPR to a provision of federal law that says a rifle or shotgun can only be sold to an out-of-state resident, “provided the transaction complies with State law in the State where the licensee is located and in the State where the purchaser resides.”
There are several Florida laws that would seem to prevent the purchase, including waiting periods and a 21-year-old age limit.
“Federal law is clear that a gun store cannot sell a gun unless the sale complies with the laws in both the dealer’s state and the state where the buyer lives,” said Lindsay Nichols, Federal Policy Director at Giffords Law Center.
Unfortunately, once again everyone is focusing on the tool used. They’re asking how this young woman could get her hands on a shotgun.
Why are so few asking about how in the hell she got so obsessed with Columbine in the first place?
For these sick, disturbed individuals, Columbine is something of an obsession. The Virginia Tech killer referred to the two kids behind Columbine as martyrs. Other killers have expressed their respect for the two murderers. They’re cult figures among a very small and emotionally disturbed group of ordinary Americans.
Even today, 20 years later, their names are still at the front of many minds. We know their names all too well, and for what? Mass murder?
While everyone is focused on how this young woman got her guns, they’re forgetting that the same media asking these questions is the same media that turned two homicidal and disturbed teens into celebrities, directly contributing to the cult that surrounds them. For weeks, all we could hear were the two names of those killers, yet that’s consistently missing from reports like the one above.
Instead, they want to blame the gun store. Yes, it does look like someone screwed up. Thank God they only killed themselves.
However, they’re so busy pointing figures any which way they can because they don’t want to admit their culpability. The media turns mass killers into rock stars, thus encouraging the next generation to follow their example.
While the media routinely calls for limits to our constitutional rights in the wake of tragedies, they pretend they bear no responsibility at all.
Unlike them, I won’t call for limits to their constitutional right. Freedom of the press is just as much a part of the Constitution as the right to keep and bear arms.
However, as I tell people to lock up their guns when not in use, I’ll also tell the media to knock it off. Quit lionizing these psychopaths. Quit making them famous. Quit with the detailed exposes about the killers and their favorite breakfast cereal.
People aren’t going to obsess over mass killers if there’s no information to obsess over.
Maybe then we’ll see these killings stop.