Editor’s Note: The #DeLaVacasDesk series is an opinion series from the managing editor of Yellow Scene. The opinions and thoughts expressed are his alone.
Edited to include updates on how the suspects accessed guns.
*Kendrick Castillo lunged at the Highlands Ranch shooter, costing him his life but saving the lives of others. He was three days from graduating.
*Riley Howell tackled the gunman at UNC, taking a brutal shot at close range. His actions saved lives.
*Lori Gilbert Kaye jumped between a shooter and her rabbi, saving his life, forfeiting her own. Another hero, Almog Peretz, ran with kids to a nearby home even though he’d been shot.
These lost lives, Americans of all ages taken just this past few weeks, burnt up and crumpled and offered up like grotesque cannabalistic – emphasis on ballistic – incense to America’s gods of domestic warfare: the NRA, Congress, 2Aers, and other gun enthusiasts. For what? To be martyrs to Americas unnatural gun fetish? For the infantile logic of those who claim patriot but scream for a right to fight the same government?
And what of our political class, what is their response to this? Any heroes in the bunch?
*Governor Polis commanded flags be flown at half mast, a hollow form of patriotism in an age where the flags should just be left at half mast.
*The Sherrif of Weld county hasn’t issued a statement, but he’s still willing to go to jail rather than enforce the new Red Flag Gun law; conservative logic at its most absurd and self serving.
*Senator Cory Gardner offered thoughts and prayers and said he’s monitoring the situation. His accounts are stuffed with $3,829,264 he took from the NRA, as David Hogg – gun reform advocate and school shooting survivor – pointed out on Twitter.
*Andrew Romanoff for Senate took the opportunity to remind us laws work, but also to ask, in all seriousness, “What would have prevented yesterday’s tragedy in Highlands Ranch? It’s both too late to act and too soon to say.”
Too late to act? What about to stop the next inevitable massacre? Too soon to say? Are you kidding me? The laws he offered as examples of necessary gun reform, while good, didn’t even address the cause of the Highlands Ranch shooting: gun owners whose guns were not securely locked. Giffords Law Center points out that, “Colorado law does not require a locking device to accompany the sale of a firearm, although federal law applies to handgun sales by dealers. Colorado also does not require firearm owners to lock their weapons, and Colorado’s child access prevention law is not as strong as the law in many other states.”
“Investigators believe the two suspects in the shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch smashed into the locked gun cabinet at the home of the adult suspect’s parents Tuesday morning, stole the weapons and used them in the shooting later that day, a high-ranking source with knowledge of the investigation tells Denver7”.
I’m absolutely sick of America’s gun culture. I come from a military family. My brother served and I have a 17th century funerary poem tattoed on my arms in honor of his death. My grandfather served in Korea. My sister is a sheriff in California. I grew up hunting with my father and uncles. Let’s be at least as clear as we hope the sky is on the day we bury the next round of children: the monsterousness of our national depravity, our cultivated and studied unwillingess to save anyone, even a child, if that saving would affect the gun industry’s bottom line, has fully eroded any morality we have as a nation.
Any politician not working for real gun reform, real change, needs to be voted out. They’ve abdicated their responsibility. Americans need to do better, vote better. Our guns are a disease. We’re culpable. Fu*k thoughts and prayers. We’re so far past thoughts and prayers.
The coffins have all been filled, time and time again. Your god isn’t sated and s/he’s definitely not stepping in to help. We need to stop this carnage with actual actions and leave the good intentions to those who sit on their hands and lament the dead. We don’t need any more heros. We don’t need any more martyrs; no more kids grappling with gunmen, no more laying down of lives hoping to save another. We need real solutions. It’s past time.
And now we lay you down to rest
We wish that you had worn a vest
Or found a better place to hide
From bullets that found their way inside
Tomorrow’s students wear more layers
Or we’ll lay you down, as well
with thoughts and prayers