Boulder, Colorado’s city government banned assault weapons in 2018 in an attempt at preventing mass shootings. Ten days after that ban was blocked in court, on Tuesday, a gunman opened fire in a supermarket and killed ten people in Boulder.
Investigators reported that the suspect had purchased an AR-556 pistol on March 16, mere days after the court blocked the ban.
President Biden called on the Senate to pass two background-check bills already approved by the House, and for Congress to pass a ban on assault weapons. In his speech, he mourned the victims of this shooting and said, “another American city has been scarred by gun violence and the resulting trauma.”
The ten victims were identified as Denny Stong, 20; Neven Stanisic, 23; Rikki Olds, 25; Tralona Bartkowiak, 49; Suzanne Fountain, 59; Eric Talley, 51; Teri Leiker, 51; Kevin Mahoney, 61; Lynn Murray, 62 and Jody Waters, 65.
The tragedy in Boulder was the second mass shooting to occur in less than a week, after a gunman killed eight people in the Atlanta area.
“This is not and should not be a partisan issue. This is an American issue. It will save lives.. And we have to act,” President Biden said in his statement. “Those folks who died left behind families, and it leaves a big hole in their hearts, and [by passing these bills,] we can save lives.”
Rachel Friend, a Boulder city council member and longtime gun violence prevention advocate, said, “I am still too numb or in shock to say how this happened so quickly on the heels of it being struck down– except to say this is why we wanted to pass the ban in the first place… I really want us to not continue to let this happen to communities. We’re reeling and it hurts to be here right now. But I don’t see why we can’t change that for the future.”
Sources: Washington Post 3/23/21; Washington Post 3/23/21; Washington Post 3/24/21