Colorado reels a decade after Aurora theater shooting
Wednesday marks 10 years since a heavily armed gunman killed 12 people during a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" inside a packed Aurora movie theater.
Flashback: At least three more mass shootings have shattered the state since, despite Colorado lawmakers taking steps to end the bloodshed.
- In 2013, the state passed universal background checks and a ban on high-capacity magazines.
- Colorado Democrats also passed the "red-flag" bill in 2019, allowing judges to order the temporary seizure of firearms from people considered a significant risk.
- And after 10 people were fatally shot in a Boulder grocery store in 2021, Democratic legislators were pushed to pass a trio of bills tightening gun restrictions in the state.
The big picture: Coloradans affected by gun violence say much more can be done to save lives, even as President Biden recently signed the most significant federal gun legislation in nearly three decades.
- Raising the minimum age to purchase a firearm, banning assault weapons and investing in mental health resources could make a difference, gun control advocates say.
What's next: U.S. Rep Jason Crow (D-Aurora) told reporters Tuesday that he plans to help pass an assault weapons ban in Congress and "encourage the Senate to eliminate the filibuster, to get this done."
Yes, but: Even in our blue state — with a Democratic trifecta — efforts to pursue a ban on assault-style weapons have continued to fail amid Republican backlash and without key Democratic players' support.
- Meanwhile, the lives of Coloradans and people nationwide are incessantly disrupted by gunfire.
What they're saying: "It feels just like yesterday … [and] it never really does get easier," Jenalise Long, an Aurora shooting survivor and Air Force veteran, said at a briefing Tuesday.
- She recalled sitting in the fifth row of the theater with her friends in 2012, and seeing the shooter.
- She crawled out of the theater, choking on tear gas as bullets blew past her.
- "The day of the shooting replays in my head quite frequently. Almost daily," she said, holding back tears.
The bottom line: "These shootings happen because the guns are in the wrong hands," and the new bipartisan federal gun bill is a "huge step in the right direction," she added.
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