It happens I was driving south on University, just north of Arapahoe High School yesterday just exactly as this was happening. I was passed by a mobile command unit, and saw all the red lights congregating a few blocks ahead of me, so turned around and avoided it. I didn't find out what had happened until later.
The shooter, an 18 year old student, is said to have posted on Facebook, "the Republican Party: Health Care: Let 'em die. Climate change: Let 'em die. Gun violence: Let 'em die. Women's Rights: Let 'em die. More War: Let 'em Die. Is this really the side you want to be on?"
(Addition: the shooter was apparently seeking a specific teacher, "whom students described as a librarian at the school.")
Suzanne sent me this link to a Bill Moyer's site: "Guns in America after Newtown." It includes the following facts:
- Number of people killed by guns, including homicide, suicide and accidental death since Newton (that have been reported by the media): 11,437
- Estimated real number of people killed by guns, including homicide, suicide and accidental death since Newtown (using most recent CDC estimates for yearly data): 33,173
- Total gun deaths in 2010 (the latest year for which there are CDC records): 31,672
- Number of those who were children or teens: 2,694
- Number of school shootings since Newtown: 27
- Number of guns in the US: 310,000,000
- Number of guns per person: About one gun for every American
- Countries with more guns per person: None
- Runner up: Yemen, with about 11 guns for every 20 Yemenis
- Total spent by the NRA (2011): $231,071,589
- Total spent by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, the largest gun control organization (2011):$2,844,489
- Number of licensed firearms dealers in the US: 134,997
- Number of grocery stores in the US: 37,053
So here's an idea. How about every gun shop and gun owner in America is required to have gun insurance? Kind of like how you have to have automobile insurance -- and note that you only have to pay if you own or sell a gun. The purpose? To cover all of those costs associated with the burials of children who shoot each other, medical treatment for collateral victims, and maybe even some of the public costs associated with emergency response. Since gun owners clearly believe more guns are the answer to every question, and since surely they wouldn't want the rest of us to pay for the consequences of that surplus of weapons, I'm confident that the NRA would stand beyond this. Heck, they'd probably sell you the insurance. I don't know if insurance is more profitable than selling the gun in the first place, but it never hurts to diversify the revenue stream. Guns are the gift that just keeps on giving.
Finally, here's another link, from the Public Library Quarterly, Volume 32, Issue 4, 2013, "Can I Bring My Gun? A Fifty-State Survey of Firearm Laws Impacting Policies Prohibiting Handguns in Public Libraries." It happens that the Castle Rock town council will soon be considering whether to approve open carry in all government buildings, like contentious planning meetings and the like. It's so good to know that our elected leaders are keeping their ear to the ground, and looking out for us.