Colorado Springs has become a hotbed for gun violence
What do you do with a substance abuser who will not admit they have a problem? What do you also do when society blames the user and not the drugs? That is where America is right now with the raging gun violence and the inability of policymakers to take gun control seriously. On Wednesday, the 12th of May 2021, it was reported that a toddler shot his parents when he reached an unsecured loaded gun that was placed on a nightstand. Both parents survived; the mother was shot in the leg while the father suffered a gunshot wound to the head. However, the toddler suffered a minor injury as the recoil of the gun struck his face.
Speaking of the incident, Sagadahoc County Sheriff Joel Merry said,
"The question of how the boy was able to pick up and fire the weapon is of great concern and is being investigated. This situation, while disturbing, could have had an even more tragic ending.”
The more pertinent question would have been what threat was there for a couple with a toddler and another three-week-old baby to need a gun for? Is America so crime-ridden that young families would need loaded guns by the nightstand to defend themselves?
On Sunday 9th of May 2021, three days before the toddler shot his parents, another carnage happened at a Canterbury Mobile Home Park in Colorado Springs at a birthday party. A jealous 28-year-old boyfriend, Teodoro Macias, fatally shot his girlfriend Sandra Ibarra- Perez along with five of her relatives. After the massacre, the shooter turned the gun on himself. What was a celebration for life was suddenly turned to darkness, blood, and death. It was only a few weeks ago when Colorado Springs lost 11 people to another mass shooting at a grocery store.
In a statement, the police said, “The suspect, a boyfriend of one of the female victims, drove to the residence, walked inside, and began shooting people at the party before taking his own life.” The general theme remains the same, from a toddler to a jilted boyfriend to a terrorist, there is always a gun available to commit a crime, and the police are incapable of doing their jobs. All that the police can do is to describe the incidents in statements and in shootings where the gunman kills himself; it is an open and shut case. The only problem is that the guns are still in the streets and people are even more encouraged by these incidents by queuing up in gun stores and buy a gun. The truth of the matter is that guns kill faster than any drug overdose. Yet, it’s illegal to use, solicit or buy drugs but anyone can waltz into one of the big chain supermarkets and buy a gun or even go to gun shows where no background checks are required or even buy from neighbors.
Like Obama before him, President Biden has called for firmer gun laws and declaring, “The idea is just bizarre to suggest some of the things that we are recommending are contrary to the constitution. Gun violence in this country is an epidemic, and it’s an international embarrassment.” Late April, Colorado democrats formally introduced gun control bills in response to the Boulder King’s grocery store mass shooting. The bill is intended to strengthen the measures already in place, such as a background check before the purchase of a gun and the prohibition of selling a gun to folks convicted of misdemeanours for up to five years. The bill’s strength is to empower local governments to put in place stricter gun control measures than the State. However, empowering institutions and local governments is one thing, but adopting and implementing the measures is another thing.
More than anything, Americans need an honest conversation around the dinner table to talk about the raging gun violence epidemic that is claiming the lives of so many Americans. For now, the Colorado democrats got one thing right; the next step is a national, nonpartisan effort to tackle gun violence head-on. I am sure the 2nd amendment folks would be against any talk of gun control. However, the US constitution is not written in stone, and since 1787, the US congress has made 33 amendments to change the constitution, of which 27 of those amendments have been ratified. Perhaps now is the right time for Congress to repeal the second amendment. What do you think?