Gun Violence and Colorado


Naomi Navarro, Journalist

  • Chuck E. Cheese Pizza, Aurora: Dec. 9, 1993
  • Columbine High School, unincorporated Jefferson County: April 20, 1999
  • Platte Canyon High School, Bailey: Sept. 27, 2006
  • Youth With a Mission, Arvada; New Life Church, Colorado Springs: Dec. 2007
  • Deer Creek Middle School, unincorporated Jefferson County: Feb. 23, 2010
  • Century Aurora 16 movie theater: July 20, 2012
  • Arapahoe High School, Centennial: Dec 13, 2013
  • Copper Canyon Apartments, Highlands Ranch: Dec. 13, 2017
  • STEM School, Highlands Ranch: May 7, 2019
  • King Soopers, Boulder: March. 22, 2021


And so many more. All in Colorado. All in the past 28 years.

One of the saddest parts? My generation grew up expecting this, preparing for it. Curled up on the floor of a dark room, away from the windows, softly crying; even though we know, “it’s just a drill”, as someone comes by and aggressively jiggles the door handle, just like a shooter, trying to get in would. No one talks, no one breathes. We know the drill, where to go, what to do. I’ve been doing these drills since elementary school. But tragedies like these, you can never really prepare for, because you don’t realize how scary it is until it happens in your community.


I have family members that were in the Arapahoe shooting. I remember going into lockdown at my elementary school. I remember kids as young as four who were screaming, confused, and scared as we set this traumatic drill into place. I remember my friends and I crying to our principal because we thought someone bad was in our school. But what was even more frightening was when I found it wasn’t my school, but my brothers’. I was in second grade. 


Eighth grade: Here I am once again, communicating with friends at STEM during yet another school shooting. I remember texting with an old friend from elementary school, praying everyone and everything would be okay. My heart stopped when I got a text back that read, “I’m scared.”


I am sixteen. I have asked myself multiple times, “What if it was my brother?” “What if it was my friend?” “What if it happens again?” But I guess I’m prepared, right?


What I really don’t understand is that nothing has changed! Not a single thing. I watch the news and I see politicians offer their sympathy: “Thoughts and prayers” they say. I listen to them argue about gun control. Then we move on. The process repeats. I’m tired, I’m mad, and I know I can’t be the only one. Whether you support the 2nd Amendment or not, it’s clear something needs to change. I’ve shared with you how I feel, and how I’ve been affected by this issue. How do you feel? Lets find people who we can have safe discussions with regarding this matter.