Ever since a maniac shot up a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, the state has made it a point to pursue an anti-gun agenda. Legislators immediately passed a magazine capacity limit and have continued to beat the gun-control war drum ever since.
So, when I saw that the school safety commission created after the Highland Ranch shooting earlier this year had come out with their recommendations, I cringed.
“Just what are they going to do to gun owners in the state now?” I thought.
Following the STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting in the spring, state lawmakers established an interim committee to examine school safety in Colorado.
On Thursday, the committee completed its work, recommending five new laws for the General Assembly to take up in January.
The committee did not tackle the controversial issues of gun control, arming teachers or even the less controversial suicide prevention funding.
“We created this committee as a bipartisan committee. We knew that meant there were some things that weren’t going to come out of this committee,” Michaelson-Janet said.
John Castillo, who lost his son Kendrick in the Highlands Ranch shooting, applauds the work of lawmakers. But he also looks forward to a more robust debate on guns in the near future.
In other words, it’s not really over.
Among the suggestions were a call to reform the state’s Safe2Tell system so that the attorney general can disclose personal information in the event of an imminent threat, begin having absences for mental health reasons count as excused, and more training for teachers to help them spot potential warning signs.
None of what the commission floated struck me as particularly awful, and I was more shocked by the fact that there weren’t new calls for gun control. That seemed a forgone conclusion considering where this took place, but it was a bipartisan commission, which probably kept a lot of that in check.
Don’t get your hopes up too much, though. As Mr. Castillo notes, there will be more debate on guns in the near future. As it’s Colorado, we can guess how that’s going to go down.
However, the suggestions made by the committee may well do a great deal more to curb future school shootings than any amount of gun control ever could. After all, most school shooters are people who aren’t legally old enough to own a gun in the first place. Stopping them from obtaining a gun simply can’t happen without infringing on the rights of people who have no intention of hurting anyone.
It’s kind of pathetic.
Still, this was good news to see. It’s a positive effort to affect real change while trying to minimize the negative impact on those who have done nothing wrong. It’s almost scary that it’s managed to do that as it doesn’t seem anyone else even bothers to care about that these days.
We’ll have to see if lawmakers in the state bother to listen or if they will continue beating that gun control drum blindly as they have in recent years.