Details emerge, still slowly, correlations, coincidences, concerns.
We’ve learned that the shooter is an angry young man, 21, who in high school felt persecuted for his Muslim faith. Interviews paint the picture of short-tempered, angry child, seeking venegance on an unfair world. Born in Syria, raised in America it seems he never felt he belonged anywhere. Not a defense, not an excuse, just an observation.
Apparently, he bought a gun a day after Boulder’s assault weapons ban was overturned by a District judge. It’s iffy if the assault ban would have prevented the purchase. The buy was a “pistol” version of an AR-15: same ammo, same cyclic rate, shorter barrel, no stock. Same deadly impact with likely a shorter range.
Don’t know if that’s what he used. A witness’s account of him standing over an elderly victim and shooting repeatedly into the body lying on the ground sticks in my mind.
What he used isn’t that important in the long run. The image of a pudgy boy wearing shorts and nothing else being led away in ‘cuffs closes the curtain, naught but flashing lights and tears to dress the stage.
True to form, the defenders of our liberties took to social/media decrying the flurry of talk of regulation. “Now is not the time to have this discussion,” stated the Colorado Shooters Association’s representatives. The CSA played a key role in overturning the assault rifle ban earlier in the month.
I agree with them that this is not the time. From my background, we should never have to have this conversation. Yet, every shooting, “now’s not the time” comes up as the defense of the gun lobby. Columbine, Aurora, the stem school, Douglas High School, all these just in Colorado.
When is the time? When will we have a time when there’s NOT a shooting? Unfortunately, when we’re not staring at our various screens and papers at the latest outrage, it gets swept under the rug, until the rug gets pulled out again. And again. And again.
I personally have no solution, there’s no easy fix and, as Patty Limerick said, “If you think you’ve got an easy answer, you’re not looking at it hard enough.” And every year it seems to get harder as we, as a nation, grow more and more polarized.
I want to see a reliable fix, applied on a national scale, but what that looks like, I have thoughts but no robust solution. I’m not a lawyer. The reliable fix needs to be built, not as a knee-jerk response that can be ripped away like a band-aid, but as a researched, thought out and rational solution that can last.
But that jerking knee can move the foot forward, take that first step, start the journey while the blood is still on our hands. Take the energy and direct it to something good, don’t let it dissipate. Take the first step, pull out some paper and draw the map that leads to a time when these cycles spin no more. One small step.