The beginning date of this writing is May 8, 2019.
That is only one day following the horrific events that occurred Tuesday afternoon at the STEM school near Denver, Colorado.
With that news still fresh in mind, the discussion about gun control today is one held with a heavy heart. It is also spoken with an emboldened intensity.
Yesterday’s tragic events remind us of how important these discussions truly are and how vital it is that we get this right.
What “getting it right” means, is gun control that is smart and effective.
Gun control that empowers law-abiding citizens and enables each one of us with the ability to protect and defend ourselves.
Getting it right means gun control that keeps guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them, whatever those reasons may be.
A story like this might generally include a list of facts and figures to support this argument.
Today, we will look at just a few of those numbers and do so in the light of yesterday’s awful event.
It was another tragic scene in Florida, a little over a year ago that prompted these words: “As emotions morph from grief to anger to resolve, it is vitally important to supply facts so that policymakers and professionals can fashion solutions based on objective data rather than well-intended but misguided emotional fixes.”
Those words from that story can only be echoed here.
It is also here, in the facts, that we will find answers to how we can best prevent these kinds of unthinkable events.
We don’t know much yet about what happened yesterday but we do have some details.
According to the reports, two people walked into the school building (apparently students), one of the alleged assailants was eighteen.
At least one student, based on eye witness reports, walked into the classroom after the period bell rang.
A student said this individual after arriving late to class, appeared to be walking toward their desk before stopping and then brandishing a weapon.
From preliminary accounts, each alleged shooter had a handgun. In all, nine were injured, one fatally.
Although there are many facts and pointers here, it is too early to make any definitive statements.
Perhaps that is okay as well because we should be angry and we may need time to process this pain. We have the right to feel hurt, upset and want answers. Damn it, these are our kids!
At some point, however, as we hear those words of wisdom and reason again, “…solutions based on objective data rather than well-intended but misguided emotional fixes” we must find the strength to move forward and start asking those questions.
If these suspects were eighteen years of age or younger; if these supposed students entered the school with handguns; if these people acted as oddly as they were reported to have been acting.
There will be questions that need answers.
When we get the facts, after we have mourned, investigated and dealt with the crime, then we can continue looking for solutions.
Don’t be surprised, however, if we discover some truths we already know.
93% of guns used in crimes are obtained illegally.
The alleged perpetrators, in this case, were kids.
That means that they took guns from their homes (certainly without permission) or purchased them illegally.
“According to studies, almost all mass public shooters have extensive histories of mental health issues… .”
Would any of us be even slightly surprised if either of these young people is discovered to have a mental illness?
This isn’t the day, the time or the place to inundate each other with statistics though.
Today, we join our brothers and sisters, our moms and dads and one another in support of these hurting families.
We can argue facts and truths later, as days go by and as the truths come to light.
His name is Kendrick Ray Castillo.
It was said that this young student rushed the shooter before being fatally struck. CNN wrote up a story earlier today that described this young hero.
I can think of no better way to end our conversation than with those words…
Kendrick was such a nice kid. If you needed something, he would be there for you, Nui told CNN on Wednesday.
That proved true even in the young man’s final moments.