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April 18, 2024 01:31 PM UTC

Ahead of 25th Anniversary of Columbine Massacre, Gun Nuts Prove Their Inhumanity

  • by: Colorado Pols

It’s hard to believe that Saturday will mark 25 years since the mass shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Two gunmen, whose names we will never repeat, took the lives of 12 students and one teacher and seriously wounded many others. The massacre on April 20, 1999 was unprecedented at the time but has, sadly, become an all-too common sight in the years since.

Media outlets have been covering the 25th “anniversary” of the Columbine shootings, including former Colorado journalist Eli Stokols (now with POLITICO). Stokols wrote about a gut-wrenching interview with the father of one of the students killed at Columbine for a story this week in POLITICO’s “West Wing Playbook“:

Ten days after 12 students and a teacher were killed by two gun-wielding classmates at Columbine High School, TOM MAUSER showed up at a rally against assault weapons on the west steps of the Colorado state Capitol.

His son, DANIEL MAUSER, was among the students killed. He’d brought a sign but did not intend to speak until organizers approached him and asked if he would. Realizing he was the only parent of a Columbine victim at the event, he stepped to the lectern and spoke. It was the beginning of a path of activism that would give him meaning following the tragedy and continues to this day.

“It’s almost a third of my life. It’s almost hard for me to comprehend, because it doesn’t feel like that long a time,” Mauser said during an interview with West Wing Playbook Monday. “Daniel would be 40 years old [this year]. Of course, I don’t go there — I don’t think what he’d be doing, what he’d be like. To me, he’s still 15.” [Pols emphasis]

It was Daniel who, two weeks before he was killed, had remarked to his father about loopholes in the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Bill enacted a year earlier — loopholes that allowed his murderer to purchase the weapon that killed him. It is Daniel’s shoes that Mauser still wears when he goes out to tell his son’s story.

Tom Mauser speaks frequently about his son and his efforts to enact gun violence prevention (GVP) measures, as do many parents who suffer such unspeakable tragedies. But gun nuts like Alicia Garcia don’t like this. On Wednesday, Garcia posted a disgusting rant on her ‘X’ account saying that Mauser is “a wounded, grieving man who needs to stop exploiting the death of his son, heal, and quit standing on his son’s grave as an excuse to rob people of civil rights.”

That is truly a horrible thing to say about another human being, and it prompted Kyle Clark of 9News to speak out in a segment for “Next with Kyle Clark”:

Said Clark:

As Colorado prepares to reflect on 25 years since the Columbine school shooting, remembering those lost decades ago, there is a sickening rise in indecency toward the families of mass shooting victims and survivors. In Colorado and across the country, we are seeing ghoulish mockery of victims’ families from extremists who are increasingly mainstream in conservative politics and the gun rights movement.

As we have said here previously, this is not about gun policy or how you feel about firearms. This is an issue of human decency, and it’s the kind of degeneracy that would have been universally condemned after the Columbine school shooting 25 years ago. [Pols emphasis]

Clark’s commentary continued with examples of gun activists and politicians attacking the families of shooting victims. The entire segment is worth viewing.

That commentary, however, struck a nerve with those same gun nuts. In responding to Clark’s words, they merely proved his point further. Here’s Dudley Brown, the former Executive Director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO), which bills itself as a “no-compromise” gun rights organization, trying to argue that families of gun violence should expect to be attacked rhetorically if they dare to speak out in favor of GVP:

Former RMGO boss Dudley Brown

You have to be a truly heartless bastard to say something like this…which checks out because Dudley Brown is a truly heartless bastard. Brown stepped down from RMGO in disgrace in 2020, though he still heads up a national gun rights group with a name that we aren’t going to bother looking up. Later that year, Brown helped raise money to cover the bail for Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager accused of killing two people after crossing from his native Illinois into the state of Wisconsin with an assault rifle during riots over police violence in Kenosha in August of 2020.

RMGO is now run by Taylor “Cease and Desist” Rhodes, who is no less committed to the “no compromise” cause but has proven to be much more inept in moving its issues forward. The group made the wrong kind of headlines in February 2023, for example, when one of its members, Kevin Lorusso, ineloquently testified in front of Colorado lawmakers to explain that Black kids shouldn’t be counted in gun violence statistics because of…well, nothing you say after that sentence is going to be worth repeating.

Colorado legislators have enacted effective new GVP measures in recent years (and are working on others currently) as the political winds shift away from Second Amendment absolutism and toward more rational people who would rather prefer that they don’t have to keep worrying about one of their children being murdered at school. Just last week, the Biden administration pushed through a policy to help close the so-called “gun show loophole” that made it far too easy for people to purchase weapons of war in back alleys.

It’s telling that heartless asshats such as Dudley Brown think that they might be winning hearts and minds by saying out loud that families of shooting victims deserve to be criticized for speaking out about their pain and suffering.

There’s never a right time to do (or say) the wrong thing.


5 thoughts on “Ahead of 25th Anniversary of Columbine Massacre, Gun Nuts Prove Their Inhumanity

  1. I went down to Columbine that 1st weekend with my high school teenagers. It was pretty somber reading the grieving notes and heartfelt condolances posted on the tennis court fences. It was just a numb experience.

    It really was the start of mass murder random events. Truly insane killers who unleashed an epidemic of violence that lasts to this day. What is so uncomprehensible is that we as a society still haven't figured out how to reduce the number of guns in our society and their lethal consequences.

  2. Columbine High School is a significant event and wound up being a touchstone historical event far beyond Colorado.

    But it was in no way the "start" of mass murder events. In the 1960s, a University of Texas Tower shooting.  In the 1980s, shortly after I left the San Diego area, there was a mass murder at a San Ysidro McDonalds.

    People with a grievance or delusion, armed with weapons, have committed mass public murders.  The pace of those events has probably increased and the destructive power of available weapons has certainly increased. The US Congress allowed one approach to restrictions to expire. The Supreme Court's 2008 Heller decision allowed greater access and limited controls.

    I've no idea what will change this situation.  Wounded Presidents, Senators, and Representatives haven't.  Mass deaths of school children and concertgoers and prayer groups and shoppers haven't. Shootings of police officers and other first responders has not. The scandals of the NRA have not.  Major declines in homicides and violent assaults have not.  There continues to be belief in the myths of the "good guy with a gun."  There continues to be polling showing super-majority support for greater controls and that has not changed.our laws or our culture. 

    1. The only thing that will change this is fewer guns.  And that simply won't happen in the US.  As a nation, we've chosen firearms over sanity. 

      1. As our friends in the ammosexual community might say, "The tree of liberty must sometimes be watered with the blood of patriots children."

    2. More attention needs to be paid to the 4chan incel community that stokes and celebrates these acts. Drop disaffected teens into a community that celebrates violence and retribution and lionizes killers and some of them will follow suit. 

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