Obama Calls for Stricter Gun Control Laws Following Colorado and Georgia Mass Shootings
Image via Getty/Alex Edelman/AFP
Barack Obama has joined the increasing calls for stronger gun control measures in the wake of a mass shooting that left nearly a dozen people dead.
The former president issued a formal statement Tuesday afternoon, expressing his condolences to the victims’ families while reiterating his push for United States gun reform. Obama’s statement comes just a day after 10 people, including a local police officer, were killed in a shooting at a Boulder, Colorado, grocery store. The 21-year-old suspect was arrested at the scene and has since been charged with 10 counts of murder in the first degree.
But former President Obama has neglected to mention in his statement the facts about the shooter. he is only shifting all the blame on our lack of gun control, but Colorado has gun laws to protect its people.
What are Colorado’s laws concerning firearms?
These two statutes regarding firearms are enforceable by any certified peace officer in the state. It is important to note that even though the laws differ in their language, it is an individual’s responsibility to abide by each statute’s sections to comply.
Colorado allows a person to carry a firearm in a vehicle if its use is for lawful protection of such person or another’s person or property. [C.R.S. 18-12-105(2)] Colorado law also allows a person to possess a handgun in a dwelling, place of business, or automobile. However, when you carry the weapon into your home, business, hotel room, etc., it must be in plain view. Local jurisdictions may not enact laws that restrict a person’s ability to travel with a weapon. [C.R.S. 18-12-105.6] The Act permits the nationwide carrying of concealed handguns by qualified current and retired law enforcement officers. It amends the Gun Control Act of 1968 (Pub. L. 90-618, 82 Stat. 1213) to exempt qualified current and retired law enforcement officers from state and local laws prohibiting the carry of concealed firearms.
In accordance with Colorado wildlife laws, including C.R.S. 33-6-125, you may carry a weapon in your vehicle. However it is unlawful for any person, except a person authorized by law or by the division, to possess or have under his control any firearm, other than a pistol or revolver, in or on any motor vehicle unless the chamber of such firearm is unloaded. A “muzzle-loader” shall be considered unloaded if it is not primed, and, for such purpose, “primed” means having a percussion cap on the nipple or flint in the striker and powder in the flash pan.
For more information about Colorado Parks and Wildlife statutes and regulations visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website cpw.state.co.us.
Is it legal to carry a weapon in Colorado National Forests?
While visiting National Forests in Colorado, you may carry a weapon. However, in addition to state laws, you must comply with Federal Regulations pertaining to the use of a firearm on National Forest System lands.
A firearm may not be discharged in the following National Forest areas:
1. Within 150 yards of a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation site, or occupied area; or
2. Across or on a Forest Development road or an adjacent body of water, or in any manner or place whereby any person or property is exposed to injury or damage as a result of such discharge; or
3. Into or within any cave. [36 CFR 261.10 (d)]
Some forests or districts have additional restrictions on discharging a firearm. You are advised to check with the authorities in the areas you will be visiting.
How do I transport firearms through National Parks in Colorado?
In accordance with 16 USC 1a-7b, in any national park, a person may possess a firearm if such possession is in compliance with the laws of the State in which the national park area is located. Therefore, in any national park in the State of Colorado, Colorado’s laws would apply. Another Federal statute, in particular 18 USC 930, prohibits firearms or other dangerous weapons within a “Federal facility,” defined as a “a building or part thereof owned or leased by the Federal Government, where Federal employees are regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties.” In national parks, such facilities may include visitor centers, administrative offices, and/or maintenance buildings. Any such facilities will be clearly marked with signs at all public entrances. For more information about national parks, and park-specific regulations, visit the National Park Service website and search by park name, location (state), activity, or topic.
Here’s what we know about the alleged Colorado shooter
- The man suspected of shooting and killing 10 people inside a Boulder, Colorado, supermarket allegedly has a history of being violent and short-tempered.
- The authorities have yet to disclose any potential motives for the attack, saying it’s too early to ascertain, but his brother, Ali Aliwi Alissa, 34, said he doesn’t think his brother’s motives were political.
“[It was] not at all a political statement. It’s mental illness,” he told the Daily Beast. “The guy used to get bullied a lot in high school. He was like an outgoing kid, but after he went to high school and got bullied a lot, he started becoming anti-social.”
- Ali Aliwi Alissa described his younger brother as “very anti-social” and paranoid
- The paranoia reportedly displayed itself during his time at Arvada West High School, when the alleged shooter would describe “being chased, someone is behind him, someone is looking for him.”
- Dayton Marvel, who graduated from Arvada West High School in 2018 with Ahmad al Aliwi Alissa, said he once threatened to kill people during an intra-team match, according to the Denver Post.
“His senior year, during the wrestle-offs, to see who makes varsity, he actually lost his match and quit the team and yelled out in the wrestling room that he was like going to kill everybody,” Marvel said. “Nobody believed him. We were just all kind of freaked out by it, but nobody did anything about it.”
- In another incident, in 2017, when he was 18, Ahmad al Aliwi Alissa attacked a high school classmate, according to an affidavit. He punched the fellow student in the head and continued to do so even after the student fell to the ground. He later told officers that the classmate “made fun of him and called him racial names weeks earlier.”
- A year later, he was subsequently convicted of misdemeanor assault and sentenced to two months of probation and 48 hours of community service.
- Marvel also cited Ahmad al Aliwi Alissa’s sensitivity to his religion and fear of being targeted because of his Muslim faith.
“He would talk about him being Muslim and how if anybody tried anything, he would file a hate crime and say they were making it up,” Marvel said. “It was a crazy deal. I know he was a pretty cool kid until something made him mad, and then whatever made him mad, he went over the edge — way too far.”
- Ahmad al Aliwi Alissa’s social media accounts also reportedly displayed paranoia signs, fear of being targeted as a Muslim, and love for UFC.
- Ahmad al Aliwi Alissa, using a Ruger AR-556 pistol purchased on March 16,
The Demarcates once more are trying to use an unfortunate situation and blame our state laws for not being adequate to protect us and to try and remove everyone’s Guns for someone that had a mental condition.
The FBI Knew about the suspect
The suspect charged in the murders of 10 people at a Boulder, Colo., grocery store — the second mass shooting to shake the country in less than a week — is a 21-year-old man from a nearby Denver suburb who used an AR-15 type of assault rifle, law enforcement officials said.
The police in Arvada, Colo., said they had two encounters in 2018 with the suspect, identified on Tuesday as Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, of Arvada — one on a report of third-degree assault, a misdemeanor, and one of criminal mischief. It is not clear if he was convicted of a crime.
The article goes on to state the following:
The suspect’s identity was known to the F.B.I. because he was linked to another individual under investigation by the bureau, according to law enforcement officials.
Alissa, born in Syria in 1999, immigrated to the U.S. with his family in 2002, according to details from his social media accounts.
According to the arrest warrant affidavit made public by police on Tuesday, Alissa purchased a Ruger AR-556 semiautomatic pistol last week. He reportedly took both a rifle and a pistol to the store on Monday when he committed the massacre.
When will government fix the broken mental health system?
And stop blaming mental health on Guns and control.
Washington state and the federal government are placing a huge financial burden on hospitals, county and city jails, and state prisons by not allocating sufficient resources to caring for the mentally ill.
THE treatment of mentally ill patients has undergone radical changes in the past 150 years, and not always for the better. Care is fragmented and places a huge social burden on American communities. Unfortunately, public-health treatment remains grossly underfunded. But that hope is about to change.
The U.S. House recently passed H.R. 2646 to make the federal government accountable, on an outcomes basis, for the $130 billion spent annually on mental-health treatment. Multiple mental-health organizations and media outlets, including The Seattle Times, support the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act.
The U.S. Senate is expected to pass similar legislation. Gov. Jay Inslee and King County Executive Dow Constantine, taking the recommendations from a dedicated task force, are now making mental-health treatment a priority.
People with mental illnesses range from well-functioning individuals to those with severe disabilities. The role of government is to serve as a safety net and to help dysfunctional, impaired people who may do harm to themselves or others.
Roger Stark is a health policy analyst for Washington Policy Center.
Institutionalizing the mentally ill became popular in the mid-19th century, and the federal government-funded psychiatric hospitals or asylums. Community and home-based treatment began in the 1950s and was placed into federal law in 1963 with the Community Mental Health Centers Construction Act.
Federal action caused existing psychiatric hospitals to rapidly close. From 1955 to 1995, the number of institutionalized patients dropped by 90 percent, and many of these mentally-ill people became homeless. From 1955 to 2000, state psychiatric beds per 100,000 people plummeted from 339 to 22. There is now a shortage of available psychiatric beds both nationally and in Washington state.
America’s latest massacre, this time at a Colorado supermarket, means everyone will extrude the horrific tale through confirmation biases and political agendas to make the murders as useful and self-gratifying as possible.
Monday’s killing spree in Boulder, which left 10 people dead, is an especially illuminating example of America’s penchant for sickeningly selfish spin-doctoring. When police led the suspected murderer away from the King Soopers grocery store, the shirtless man’s appearance was ambiguous enough that he was like a walking Rorschach test for some observers – revealing what they wanted the story to say.
Supposed journalists, such as USA Today’s Hemal Jhaveri and Deadspin’s Julie DiCaro, were quick to connect the dots to last week’s false massacre narrative in Atlanta, where a young white man killed six Asian-American women and two people of lesser media interest. “The suspected gunman in the Boulder, Colorado, mass shooting is a white guy,” CJ Werleman of the UK’s Byline Times trumpeted on Twitter. “Seven reported dead! Cue ‘mental issues,’ ‘bad day,’ ‘parking dispute’ or anything else other than what he most likely is: a white domestic terrorist.”
The suspected gunman in the Boulder, Colorado mass shooting is a white guy. Seven reported dead!
Cue “mental issues,” “bad day,” “parking dispute,” or anything else other than what he most likely is – a white domestic terrorist. pic.twitter.com/v0ukqWtIVN
— CJ Werleman (@cjwerleman) March 22, 2021
AFP’s Uzair Hasan Rizvi was eager to tell the same sort of story. “A poor white guy – who may have had a bad day or just a sex addict – killed at least 10 people in Boulder,” Rizvi said. “He was only apprehended and not choked or shot to death because he was not brown, black or a Muslim. And yes, he is only a shooter and not a terrorist.”
Ironically, Rizvi specializes in “debunking fake news” as a fact-checker for AFP. Sadly for him, he had to fact-check himself and delete his hate-filled tweet when police identified the Boulder suspect as Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, a 21-year-old immigrant to America who was born in Syria, according to court records.
Author and anti-Donald Trump activist Amy Siskind also was among those who flunked the Rorschach test. On Monday, before she knew the identity of the alleged murderer, she said, “The shooter was taken into custody. In other words, it was almost certainly a white man (again). If he were black or brown, he would be dead.” She lower-cased “white” and upper-cased “black” and “brown.” But by Tuesday morning, her view changed: “Let’s mourn the victims but not glorify the killer with the attention of having his name widely known.”
When she thinks the shooter is white
When it turns out the shooter is muslim pic.twitter.com/fGUTUmOTQg
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) March 23, 2021
Got it? Shut up about that name. This story is going all wrong. That’s why the mainstream media is covering the Boulder massacre with much less fervor than their Atlanta jackpot. Despite police and acquaintances of the suspect saying otherwise about motive, the story was all about 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long being white and his victims being mostly Asian. That’s the media’s favorite racial theme nowadays, and everything must be viewed through that lens.
The wheels came off plan A in this case. We’ve still got the secondary agenda of calling for tougher gun laws, but the skin-color obsession requires more nuanced storytelling this time. We’re therefore getting fewer of the deep dives into the alleged shooter’s social media posts and possible signs of bigotry. There’s also relatively little to be said about the victims, inasmuch as most or all of them were apparently white, or the shooter’s motivation.
CNN adapted quickly, explaining that Alissa was bullied in school (despite being a wrestler with a history of violence) for being Muslim, and people “made fun of his name.” So, it was actually still white people’s fault.
Many of those who got the story wrong weren’t embarrassed, let alone repentant. Actress Rosanna Arquette left up her tweet calling the massacre “white supremacist domestic terrorism,” and her followers left up their messages blaming former President Trump for causing the trend.
Call it what it is ..White supremacist domestic terrorism
— ✌🏼rosanna arquette (@RoArquette) March 22, 2021
Actress Meena Harris took down her tweet using the Boulder massacre to say white men are “the greatest terrorist threat to our country,” but she essentially stood by her argument. “I made an assumption based on his being taken into custody alive and the fact that white men carry out the majority of mass shootings in the US,” she said.
I deleted a previous tweet about the suspect in the Boulder shooting. I made an assumption based on his being taken into custody alive and the fact that white men carry out most mass shootings in the U.S.
— Meena Harris (@meenaharris) March 23, 2021
Author Faralyn Padilla stuck to the argument that Alissa is white and blamed both shootings on religion. “Every culture has white skin in it because it’s a mutation,” she said. “Also, please tell me the difference between these two men. Quran vs. Bible isn’t that much of a difference. They are 97 percent the same book, word for word.”
Muslim people can be white too. Every culture has “white” skin in it bc it’s a mutation.
Also, please tell me the difference between these 2 men.
Quran vs Bible isn’t that much of a difference, they are 97% the same book, word for word. pic.twitter.com/Hgh9X9Ndnn
— Faralyn Padilla (@FaralynPadilla) March 23, 2021
She’s clearly not a student of religion, but Padilla’s ignorance reflects PhD-level understanding of American media and political narratives. Today’s leading terrorist bogeymen are white American Christians, radicalized by Trump.
Therefore, when a Filipino-American man is slashed from ear to ear with a box cutter by a black man on a crowded New York subway car, activists respond by rallying against “white nationalism.” When elderly ethnic Asians are senselessly attacked on the street by young black men in the San Francisco Bay Area, in some cases being killed, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist explains that the violence is “part of a pattern of white supremacy.”
According to the narrative, Americans aren’t sentient beings with wide-ranging feelings, emotions, and motivations. They are race-obsessed drones who see only skin color and make their decisions accordingly. White male Christian from flyover country? He’s surely a bitter clinger with antipathy toward people who aren’t like him. Black person? Democrat voter. As President Joe Biden said last year on the campaign trail, if you haven’t already decided to vote for him, “you ain’t black.”
But the Boulder massacre quickly lost its legs as a skin-color story. It still has value, though, for the anti-gun agenda. Politicians were quick to seize that prize, with Biden and former President Barack Obama calling for stricter gun laws.
“Another nightmare – so sickening, savage, stunning, but utterly unsurprising,” Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) said on Monday night. “Congress’ inaction on gun violence makes this horror so tragically predictable.”
Another nightmare—so sickening, savage, stunning, but utterly unsurprising. Congress’s inaction on gun violence makes this horror so tragically predictable. https://t.co/J7L3BfphPQ
— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) March 23, 2021
No, what’s really most sickening and unsurprising is the selfish opportunism that swarms on the scene after horrific incidents like the Boulder and Atlanta shootings. There’s never a pause or desire to learn the truth or take corrective actions.
The exploitive voices of authority attach false motives, such as race, and offer non-solutions, such as gun laws that wouldn’t have prevented most mass shootings – and wouldn’t be followed by people who are already willing to break the law against murder. Is it any wonder that the root causes are hardly ever addressed?
If there’s a common thread in the Boulder and Atlanta shootings, both 21-year-old suspects likely had serious mental issues. Alissa reportedly ranted in his Facebook posts about hating Trump and not having a girlfriend. His brother reportedly told the Daily Beast that he was “very antisocial” and was “paranoid” that people were out to get him.
More and more young people are feeling that way nowadays. A culture that promotes tribalism and competing to be the biggest victim won’t help – nor will a nation that increasingly judges people based on inalienable characteristics.
Deadspin Editor + USA Today Editor
What makes this one even more ironic is that the shooter posted to his FB about needing a girlfriend. pic.twitter.com/dptSsk8bzd
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) March 23, 2021
So today – like yesterday and last week – Americans argue over race, religion, and politics. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) was miffed that “he’s Muslim” was trending on Twitter for Alissa, but “he’s Christian” failed to trend for last week’s alleged shooter. Then again, no one needed to ask about Long’s religion. The media quickly made that known, along with his skin color.
So “he’s Muslim” is trending, did I miss “he’s Christian” trending for last week’s Atlanta mass murderer?
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) March 23, 2021
In today’s America, the question isn’t, “What really caused this?” Nor is it, “How can this be prevented?” The question is, “What’s in it for me?”