Where I live we kill people with guns. On average our state is highlighted in the national news every four years, but the shootings are more frequent as of late: before this week, the last one was two years ago. We kill people at school, at the movies, and at the doctor’s office. Really ordinary places where you don’t expect to get shot, but in Colorado, that’s what happens.
These places aren’t in the bad part of town. They aren’t the shootings we dismiss because they happen to poor people. They happen in wealthy suburbs, near college campuses, and just down the street from our airport. They are all nice places to have your life unexpectedly ended.
Perhaps we should change our state motto from the Latin Nil Sine Numine (nothing without Providence) to Nil Sine Caedis (nothing without slaughter). I’m not a Latin expert, so there might be a better phrase to use, but I think it’s important to prepare our visitors and residents to be gunned down at the dentist, the shopping mall, or at school – normal ordinary places.
I spent the years before I decided to have a baby getting my annual exams from Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood. Not the one in Colorado Springs, but one in my home town. I swam and debated at Arapahoe High School. Every time I come home from the airport I drive past the movie theater where people were shot for watching Batman. I’ve got a friend who went to high school with Harris and Klebold. It’s hard to live in our beautiful state and not have a connection to a shooting, because we shoot people here every so often.
According to our official website the name of our state, Colorado, “has its origin in the Spanish language, as the word for ‘colored red’.” That seems an appropriate first acknowledgement of the blood that spills here every few years.
Where I live we kill people with guns.