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Last April 20 - Hitler's birthday - marked the 22nd anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting in Littleton, Colorado, where "just normal kids" Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold randomly killed 13 people - 12 students and a teacher - and wounded 20 more before killing themselves in what was then the deadliest school shooting in US history. Photo by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

Random Shootings 'R Us: Enough Was Bloody Enough Way Too Many Years and Guns and Dead Kids Ago

Abby Zimet

We can't decide what's worse: That six more teenagers were capriciously shot - no deaths as yet - in a drive-by shooting Monday while hanging out in a park across from their high school, or that you probably didn't read about it because it was in a country so obscenely bloodsoaked that guns already kill a kid every 2 and a half hours and wound one every 32 minutes so, really, ho hum, what's six more? Police say multiple suspects opened fire with multiple guns including tactical assault weapons - a witness said it "sounded like Iraq" - from a car and possibly on foot in the mid-day shooting in Aurora, CO, which saw another mass shooting in 2012 during a Batman movie screening (12 dead, 59 wounded) so new, grotesque redundancy there. Five teens - three boys, two girls - were taken to hospitals and one 18-year-old drove himself; none were deemed critical, but one had emergency surgery and two reportedly face "a long haul." City officials actually, literally sent their "thoughts" and "prayers"; the mayor babbled "the most important function of government is the protection of its people"; Police Chief Vanessa Wilson offered a slightly more legit, "I need us all to be outraged...Enough is enough," though God knows we've heard that before. We probably will again, given kids-with-guns violence is soaring in the area: Colorado saw a nearly 30% rise in homicides in 2020, and Aurora has had more violent crimes this year than their last three years, with ten teens shot - 3 dead - in the last 30 days.
Last year, Aurora and Denver created a joint Youth Violence Prevention Program for what had become "a public health crisis," but efforts like promoting healthy family situations and creating positive shared activities have yet to stop the bloodshed. Meanwhile, "The time between shootings is growing shorter and the person on either side of the gun is getting younger." "These are babies killing each other," says one advocate. "How are they accessing these guns and why do they feel that's the solution?" For that, thank our twisted, ungodly 2nd Amendment "freedoms." Thank a state that doesn't require a license to open-carry, a permit to conceal-carry in a car or a waiting period. Thank a country where nine kids or teens, often of color, are killed daily by guns and five times that are wounded. Thank an  increasingly dark and powerful gun lobby, ruled by a clumsy, corrupt, inept, ethically challenged man with a weak handshake and "the backbone of a chocolate éclair,” which over 30 years has doubled gun sales, transformed their most prized products into military-style killing machines like AR-15s complete with "desert tan" finish to mimic the battlefield, and created "the world the NRA built." Most grievously, today as a result, "We live in their world." So do our kids unless/until they're gunned down in a park - which is why, like Cheryl Wheeler, we'd take away the fucking guns.

Abby Zimet

Abby Zimet

Abby has written CD's Further column since 2008. A longtime, award-winning journalist, she moved to the Maine woods in the early 70s, where she spent a dozen years building a house, hauling water and writing before moving to Portland. Having come of political age during the Vietnam War, she has long been involved in women's, labor, anti-war, social justice and refugee rights issues. 

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