Another tragedy — and the tragic feeling that never goes away

It’s an all-too-familiar day. A New York Times reporter tweets that it’s hard to find a reporter working in Colorado who hasn’t had to rush off to the scene of a shooting. It’s harder to find a person in Colorado who hasn’t been glued to a TV, watching the worst, hoping against hope for the best.

It could have been worse. It has, of course, been far worse. But one victim is seriously wounded, the shooter is dead and another person is apparently injured less seriously.

And a school full of young people is traumatized. And their families are traumatized. And their neighbors are traumatized. And we who live here are shaken again, wondering how it could have happened again, just eight miles from Columbine, just 15 miles from the Aurora theater.

It’s another tragedy, this time facing students at Arapahoe High, who grew up in the era of Columbine and school shootings. It’s another presumably disturbed young man with a gun. We have seen it all before. We have seen it too many times.

It feels all too familiar. Worse, it’s a feeling that never seems to go away.


  1. We learn today the student gunman at Arapahoe was armed to the max intending to inflict murder and mayhem. Had he been able to purchase a handgun, say a Glock 9 with a high capacity magazine, the consequences of this horror could have been much worse.

    I can’t help but wonder about the recall zealots and their NRA driven obsession to oust elected officials who’s crime was to vote in favor of stricter gun control measures. The majority of Americans support stricter gun control laws yet are held hostage by a minority faction who’s deceit includes the spread of misinformation and lies using fear and ignorance as their motivational tool.

    The NRA is about money for arms manufacturers and they hold elected representatives of the people in their pockets with the threat of retaliation for crossing the line and doing the right thing for the victims of gun violence.

    The United States is the number one exporter of arms. We lead the world in gun ownership and violence and for what. So Wayne Lapierre and the late Charleton Heston can portray the myth of “a good man with a gun”. How pathetic when one considers that today an innocent young woman lies in a hospital bed in critical condition because a student with a gun legally purchased along with an arsenal of ammunition shot her because she happened to be there.

    I have visions of dozens of innocent children laying dead in pools of blood in a classroom and the asinine ideas of the NRA with their call for armed teachers and gun safety classes in our schools using their grotesque freakshow “Eddie Eagle” to promote more guns into our midst.

    Eric Reger has it right. It’s about the power of a gun on your hip, the power of life and death using the “trigger finger”. The fantasy of a “good man with a gun” is lunacy. I wouldn’t want this guy anywhere near me or any of my children.

    “In my cold dead hands”? Who are these so called liberty loving self styled patriots kidding?

  2. Last week’s shooting proves the truth of what the NRA has been saying: “the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”. Had that deputy not been in the school and run towards the shooting, it would have been much worse. This kid was bent on doing the maximum damage he could before he took his own life. It’s time to put armed guards and metal detectors in our schools. A sad commentary on our society to be sure, but better safe than sorry.

  3. From local information sources, we can detect a few bits of information about this shooter, such as:
    a) He was a gun rights advocate
    b) He was talented in a debate club in school
    c) He had plans to attend the Air Force Academy
    d) He was kicked off the debate team and suspended for threatening the debate coach

    I wonder if gun rights was a debate topic in school.
    I wonder if the debate coach is an anti-gun liberal, and whether or not the coach sided against him, or even forbid him from presenting the pro-gun argument.
    I wonder in what form the ‘threat’ was presented. Was it stated during a debate as a possible outcome of gun control?
    I wonder if the debate coach ever considered the damage this suspension would have on the student’s dreams of attending the Air Force Academy.
    I wonder if anyone will ever investigate the reason for the suspension.

  4. In the context of disastrous events here in Colorado, I’m not sure how this one keeps getting passed over but it’s important to mention (and also remember) Emily Keyes who was held hostage and consequently killed in September of 2006 at Platte Canyon High School in Bailey, 48 miles exactly from Arapahoe High School. Her parents started a foundation based on her final text messages at

  5. @JayelKay, regarding your 4th point, I wonder if the shooter “ever considered the damage” his actions would have in terms of destroying an innocent person’s life and traumatizing an entire community. Whatever his grievance was, a gun was not and never will be the appropriate solution.

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