The city of Denver has long had a problem with violent crime. Officials there like to blame guns for the issue simply because the offenders use firearms.
However, the problem is that this focus on guns is a focus on the wrong thing.
Bad actors will get guns no matter what you try to do. Colorado, for example, requires background checks on every transfer of a firearm, while Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill last year raising the age to purchase a gun from 18 to 21. That law is on hold thanks to a lawsuit, but it’s still legally impossible for a juvenile to lawfully acquire or carry a firearm.
Around 6:41 p.m. on Jan. 27, a dispute erupted on a Regional Transportation District bus in Denver, according to KDVR.
The confrontation purportedly was sparked over the grandfather’s leg being in the aisle of the bus, which allegedly enraged a 13-year-old passenger. The argument escalated to the point that the 13-year-old suspect shot and killed 60-year-old Richard Sanchez, according to law enforcement.
“At this stage of the investigation, it appears there was a verbal exchange between the suspect and victim about the victim’s leg blocking the aisle on the bus, and the suspect then shot the victim,” the Denver Police Department said in a press release on Friday.
Sanchez was rushed to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
Now, there are two relevant facts with this case. The first is that a 13-year-old is never going to be able to legally carry a firearm. Federal law alone prevents the lawful sale of a handgun to someone that age even without Colorado’s law coming into play.
Second, public transportation in Colorado is considered a gun-free zone. You can’t lawfully carry a firearm, even with a concealed carry permit, on buses.
The kid clearly broke that rule, too.
In fact, it sure looks like all of the rules on the books covering Denver did jack all to prevent the murder of Richard Sanchez.
Sort of like they’ve done jack all to prevent the murders of a lot of other people there.
Meanwhile, citizens in Denver and elsewhere in the state are being restricted from protecting themselves because of these laws. We don’t know that Sanchez or anyone else on the bus–including one other party who was shot in this incident, but was treated and released–would have been carrying if they could. That’s beyond our ability to determine.
What we do know, though, is that because of the laws covering the state of Colorado and the city of Denver, no one except a violent 13-year-old had a gun in that moment, which may have contributed to a 60-year-old grandfather being gunned down on a city bus.
Gun control kills. No matter how much anti-gunners claim otherwise, it’s the simple truth. Colorado’s gun-free zones did nothing here except make it so no one could have stepped up and stopped this tragedy from happening.