EDITORIAL: We don’t have to suffer being hunted down at stores, cinemas and schools

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Wayne Jones, holds his son Donell, while speaking during an interview with The Associated Press about his mother Celestine Chaney, who was killed in Saturday’s shooting at a supermarket, in Buffalo, N.Y., Monday, May 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Few things speak to how fundamentally broken the nation is than our tolerance for enraged gunmen regularly hunting down people in places like stores, churches, schools and even movie theaters.

Combined with politicians and zealots profusely and openly lying and propagating dangerous and malevolent disinformation and propaganda, America rivals fascist Europe of the 1930s in its scope and breadth of depravity.

Once hugely proud and protective of American freedoms, the nation has now ceded any sense of the word to a minority of our nation that refuses to see reason when it comes to controlling epidemic gun violence and the open support of racism and xenophobia.

Just days after hundreds of millions of Americans were sent reeling by the gruesome facts surrounding the terrorist slaughter of Black people in Buffalo, the usual suspects are trotting out their equally usual distractions and deceits to perpetuate what they see as a net gain: fearful and confused Americans increasingly eager to blame the “others.”

Few know better than residents from Colorado — and especially Aurora, Littleton and Boulder — how critical it is to prevent the shootings that tore gaping holes in our communities.

Years and years after Columbine and the Aurora theater shooting, we firmly understand how complicated the problem of gun violence and mass shootings are, and how complicated the solutions will be.

Just providing more and better mental health care isn’t enough.

Just ensuring so-called “red flag” laws are better used won’t be enough.

Just working with kids and pulling them back from drowning in violent games and media isn’t enough.

Just ignoring rather than elevating raucous racists, bigots and psychologically-infirm political stars won’t end the violence.

Just ending ghastly immunity for gun manufactures and the industry, and holding them to the same standards as we do opioid makers, won’t end the mass killings.

Just banning the ownership and use of military-style firearms won’t keep racist terrorists from finding a way to assassinate minority targets.

Just prohibiting the use of concealed weapons and public display of firearms won’t be enough.

Just creating a nationwide ban on high-capacity magazines won’t stop the bloodshed.

Just keeping people with guns from donning bullet-resistant body armor won’t stop more gun shooting deaths.

Just making illegal the creation and possession of so-called “ghost guns” won’t end youth gun violence.

Just creating a national, real-time database of people flagged against gun possession won’t stop the shootings.

Just creating real, universal healthcare that allows effective intervention in the lives of psychologically-troubled people won’t stop school shootings. 

We must do all of those things, and we must do them with fervor and passion like we never have before. 

We know that gun buybacks really do get people to give up their guns. Aurora City Councilmember Curtis Gardner, a Republican, has helped lead the community through three buyback events, doing real work toward preventing murders or suicides.

We know these things work, because they work in other modern, free and democratic nations. We know most Americans want them to work, because we don’t want to live in fear anymore of being gunned down anywhere, but especially when we’re just living the most unavoidable parts of our lives.

We know in Aurora that racism and bigotry can ebb when people openly work, live, play and go to school with others from all races, cultures and backgrounds.

We know here and in communities like Aurora that pushing back hard and regularly against those who seek to blame “others” — or make themselves out to be, as white supremacists, victims of a multicultural community — are nothing more than pathetic and dangerously fearful.

Our subjugation to gun violence and the bullies who wield it and tolerate it, cannot be the price we must pay to live in the United States.

We can’t wish it away, pray it away or offer any effective thoughts. We tried. We can’t let a minority of Americans hiding behind their political party force the vast majority of people to live in fear or wallow in their malevolent lies and delusion.

Only in the U.S. are we guaranteed the power to make meaningful changes in our lives by electing leaders who will do it.

If you truly are done with living in a nation that assents to living in constant fear of domestic terrorists, vote for people who really want to end it badly enough to do the things above that will make it stop.

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Joe Felice
Joe Felice
6 months ago

Our love of guns will be the death of us. (Pun intended.) Because of it, we all offer ourselves up as potential victims of maniacs with guns. We cannot rely on our elected representatives to do the right thing that their constituents demand. What a country! Only God can help us now.

Factory Working Orphan
Factory Working Orphan
6 months ago
Reply to  Joe Felice

You’re just as likely to die in a drunk-driving wreck as you are to be killed by someone with a firearm, but I don’t see you and Perry agitating to repeal the 21st Amendment.

GeneD
6 months ago

Actually firearm deaths began exceeding automobile deaths starting in 2019.

Factory Working Orphan
Factory Working Orphan
6 months ago
Reply to  GeneD

Actually, they only exceed automobile deaths when you count suicides.

Doug
Doug
6 months ago

Completely ignored the editorial and there lites the problem.

Don
Don
6 months ago

Over 100 vehicle deaths per day in the US. We don’t have to stand for being hunted down in our cars. Almost all deaths are caused by someone breaking the law, recklessly driving, driving under the influence or speeding. We can do better. We have to remove the immunity from car manufacturers and hold them accountable for the carnage their death machines cause. We must institute red flag laws for known speeders. We need a real time database of all known speeders so we can keep them from possessing these death machines. We must end these “ghost” car modifications. People cannot merely modify their death machines with no knowledge of the federal government. They are enhancing the killing ability of these rolling carnage bringers without our knowledge! We must ban the ownership of military style SUVs and vans! Only less dangerous Smart Cars will be legal. We must install pedal limiters to 15 mph on all vehicles, for the safety of everyone. Someone driving at 15 mph can only kill a few people before stopping to re-accelerate to 15 mph. The carnage as compared to 30 mph will be half! These rolling death machines have killed more than 1 million people per year worldwide for too long. WE CAN DO BETTER!!!!

Jeff Ryan
Jeff Ryan
6 months ago
Reply to  Don

This is a pathetic argument, and logically false.

Doug
Doug
6 months ago
Reply to  Don

Another one completely ignoring the editorial with the usual comebacks.

Don Black
Don Black
6 months ago

Knowing that I was a retired police officer. my grandson asked me about gun control. I told him that in theory I agreed with strict gun control. Then I told him that in reality we had gone past sanity a long time ago. There are so many guns out there that you will never be able to pull them back except from the most law abiding people. The criminals do not abide by any of the laws you create and will get guns. People know that the police cannot protect them, especially today with ridiculous laws, ridiculous prosecutors, and ridiculous expectations from well meaning sensitive people. So, the question is, faced with random violence everywhere, do you trust the government to protect your family? I can talk for a long time about all the things a government should do and will never do to protect all of us. Ask the Native Americans if they believe that our government works to protect everyone and keep their promises. A government made up of two childish parties squabbling over power doesn’t inspire confidence in its ability to protect our families. So, people will keep buying guns in light of the ever present violence.

All violence should be condemned. Racially motivated violence is especially evil. Now, let’s put it in perspective. As horrible as the white supremacist shootings are, they are dwarfed by the number of shootings perpetrated by young black males. The liberals want to ignore that entirely, no matter how many innocent people die. The ultra right want to use it to justify racism. You are far more likely to get hit by a stray bullet fired by two gang bangers shooting at each other than you are to get shot by a white supremacist. Whenever I look at the bullet hole in the side of my house, I just mentally note that it is just part of the many random shootings out there. In shootings all over the country, the media will not even mention the race of the shooters unless they are white on black. There is a cultural problem in the black community that needs to be addressed. When black activists say we need to have an honest conversation, they don’t really mean it. The negative perception of black people is created by a small percentage of black people who commit crime and use violence daily. The percentage is disproportionate to the black population.

They are mostly young black people. Whenever I stopped young innocent black males on the street, I felt bad for them because I knew that a small group was making their lives miserable. I always explained why we stopped them and apologized for their inconvenience.

Unfortunately, our President, and many others are making it worse by pushing the systemic racism theme to further their popularity. They are teaching young black people that they are already hated by white people and therefore they should feel no guilt in anything they do against white people. Why should they try to fit into our society if our society hates them just for the color of their skin? We are making excuses for the very violence we want to prevent.

The author is right in one sense. None of the things mentioned will alone address gun violence. They are all part of the effort. No one thing will solve the problem. Effective law enforcement alone will not solve the problem. But it is a large part of it. The border wall would not solve the problem at the border. But it is part of an overall effort that will bring results. Creating fair and effective border policy and immigration laws are a bigger part. Long term efforts to address problems in the other countries are also a part of it.

So let us keep in perspective the gun violence problem. White supremacy is not the biggest problem. It should be condemned and dealt with. Much of the public see the violence on the streets committed by young black males and understand that they must be able to protect themselves. As long as we ignore that unpleasant fact and treat black criminals as victims, white supremacy will grow. Let’s quit being naive and honestly address the problems.

For those who hate my long rants, I am sorry if I made you think and not just use easy labels to solve the problems.

Good Citizen
Good Citizen
6 months ago
Reply to  Don Black

Imagine the amount of money this guy has stolen from you both before and after retirement.

Last edited 6 months ago by Good Citizen
Don Black
Don Black
6 months ago
Reply to  Good Citizen

Cute

Good Citizen
Good Citizen
6 months ago
Reply to  Don Black

Don:
I can’t say the same for you. Welfare recipients are ugly.

Boomer
Boomer
6 months ago

Your editorial is garbage, as usual.

Jeff Ryan
Jeff Ryan
6 months ago

It is little wonder that the rest of the world views us as insane.

Factory Working Orphan
Factory Working Orphan
6 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Ryan

The rest of the world doesn’t matter.

GeneD
6 months ago

How tiny and strange a view. Don’t you realize that we live in a terrarium?

GeneD
6 months ago

Death by firearm is now the leading cause of death for youth under the age of 18. We have 140 daily deaths and twice that number of maimings by irresponsible use of guns. On average, those shot have 7 close family members who are also affected by this epidemic of violence.

If the human cost of gun violence doesn’t make you want to take action, consider the billions of dollars in healthcare and rehabilitative costs needed for victims’ care.

Disregard Don’s sarcasm, or Don Black’s position of helplessness, and work for change. Have Congress repeal the product liability protection granted to the firearm industry – the only industry so protected. Join organizations working to prevent gun violence such as Giffords, or Colorado Ceasefire, or Colorado Faiths United to End Gun Violence. Get involved. Honor thoughts and prayers with action!

Factory Working Orphan
Factory Working Orphan
6 months ago
Reply to  GeneD

If the human cost of gun violence doesn’t make you want to take action, consider the billions of dollars in healthcare and rehabilitative costs needed for victims’ care.”

We spend far more on the obesity epidemic than we ever do on firearm-related injuries.

Doug
Doug
6 months ago

Comparison of obesity to violent gun deaths? Seriously?

GeneD
6 months ago

Proof of this false equivalency? Data please.

Don Black
Don Black
6 months ago
Reply to  GeneD

I encourage anyone who wants to get involved as he says.

Dean
6 months ago

“malevolent disinformation and propaganda, America rivals fascist Europe of the 1930s in its scope and breadth of depravity.

Perry, you talk about “disinformation and propaganda” Dave this paper you operate, bar none is king of half-truths and fiction.

You state, we now rival fascist Europe. Says Who? What in the hell are you talking about? Who is this leader of all this organized propaganda?

For any one else paying attention legal gun sales are up… WAY UP- LEGAL- SALES. There is a reason for that. People are buying weapons because they have little confidence in feeble leadership that has taken over in these cities, and at the Federal level. People are more afraid, gun shooting classes are full.  Woman that never felt like they were interested in self -protection are 15% of the classes. These shooting ranges are showing up in strip malls.

As long as legislators try and continue to shut down a person’s ability to protect themselves as these same legislators demonstrate they are not capable of understanding something about basic human nature. The general citizenry across the county has had enough. Recently the New York Times, article “U.S. Gun production triples since 2000”.  Manufactures are reacting to market demands. This is a real thing; people are going to do what they need to do, despite what some goofy lawmaker is spouting take-away these guns.

Doug
Doug
6 months ago
Reply to  Dean

Yeah buddy! Let’s get more of them guns on the street! Then everybody can be shooting at everybody. Sounds like the sort of civilized society I want to live in!!! NOT!

GeneD
6 months ago
Reply to  Dean

No, they are not responding to market demand, the and their Retrumplicants minions are creating the demand through the fear and hatred they generate.

scott
scott
6 months ago
Reply to  Dean

Texas saw a 79% increase in new gun ownership requests/purchases in 2021 over the previous year. So many more Texans had guns to protect themselves..but apparently not enough to protect their elementary school children and teachers. Is the answer more guns? Is the answer that every single school in America become a learning fortress? I don’t have the answer but at least this editorial considers all the factors that have led us to this awful point so that a conversation can be had because just “arming up” as a solution has not proved to be the deterrent that gun rights activists believe it would.

Stevie
Stevie
6 months ago

LOL!