Yet another tragic shooting occurred at Colorado LGBTQ club Club Q where gunman Anderson Aldrich murdered five clubgoers while 25 people were also subsequently injured. He is currently in custody and is being charged with five counts of murder and five counts of bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury. His records have been sealed and these charges are subject to change. 

Club Q had planned a transgender remembrance day for Sunday (would have been the day after the shooting) and many feel that Aldrich’s actions were calculated and that he wanted to not only harm others but harm them on a day of celebration and remembrance. As of now, this is only speculation and often things that occur like this are not coincidences. If America does not change its gun control laws and its LGBTQ rights we can not expect things to get any better. 

Who Helped Subdue Aldrich

Richard Fierro was one of the men who helped stop Aldrich and subdue him until the police arrived. He is now being coined the “hero of Club Q” and I couldn’t agree more. He was attending Club Q celebrating a birthday with his daughter whose best friend was performing in the drag show. He is an army veteran that completed 3 tours in Iraq and was awarded two bronze stars for his service. Fierro said when the gunman entered and began firing that his army training kicked in. Fierro with the help of others was able to stop Aldrich and hold him until the police arrived. One of the victims that perished was his daughter’s boyfriend. If it wasn’t for people like Fuero that stopped the gunman who knows how many other lives could have been lost. 

Why The Don’t Say Gay Narrative Perpetuates Hate 

Since Ron DeSantis passed the Don’t Say Gay bill, the hate towards the LGBTQ+ community has seen an increase. When a bill like this passes it obviously makes a statement and many people that may have been on the fence on an issue can find themselves siding with people of power. Such as Florida’s Governor. 

The Center for Countering Digital Hate found that the spike in hate towards LGBTQ came from the false narrative that LGBTQ+ people “groom” children. Republican lawmakers are pushing this false narrative that LGBTQ+ people are unsafe and predatory when on the contrary there is no authentic and conclusive data to back this statement. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) reports that In “88% of the sexual abuse claims that CPS substantiates or finds supporting evidence of, the perpetrator is male. In 9% of cases, they are female, and 3% are unknown.” 

RAINN also reports that among the cases reported to law enforcement 93% of abusers are known to the victim. Meaning that a child isn’t more likely to be groomed in a gay club or at a drag show. A child is more likely to be groomed by someone they know and trust such as an uncle or “trusted” family friend. Spreading misinformation like this is incredibly damaging to the LGBTQ+ community. 

Colorados Red Flag Law 

Many have argued that since the information was released on Aldrich’s past behavior, the Red Flag Law was not implemented for him and should have been. It seems that the law cannot be activated unless reported by a family member or someone close to the person in question. Law enforcement does not typically get involved in making reports for the Red Flag Law it has to come from a concerned citizen. 

The Red Flag Law identifies people who have been reported for violence, mental instability, or that pose a threat or themselves or others and restricts their ability to temporarily own a gun. The law is in place to protect the person in question and the greater society. It is not a law that is taken lightly and was absolutely a tool that should have been utilized is Aldrich’s case. Unfortunately, it is speculated that his family is far right-winged people who would never think to have someone’s right to bear arms be taken away. Regardless of the safety risk, this action posed. 

Why there are so many shootings 

When we deep dive into why mass killings occur, none of the theories or research is that much of a surprise. It makes sense that the two most significant issues contributing to mass killings are mental health and gun control. Both of which the United States does not have. Much research points to mental health being a significant culprit to why someone would choose to mass kill. While this makes much sense, mental health issues seem to be pushed away as a cause of the stigma on mental health in the United States. 

It has been found that there is a connection between mass killings and early childhood trauma that can include sexual assault, violence in the home, death, suicides, and so much more. Many mental health disorders and issues stem from childhood trauma or poor experiences. The informative years are called such for a reason; they are critical and will shape how the child views themselves and the world. 

Gun Control 

Gun control is a major factor in mass shootings. If we eliminate or reduce the accessibility to guns there would inherently be less availably to utilize them in mass shootings. It’s a pretty basic equation and one that many right-winged Americans fight. The United States is already not properly administering background checks and too many people with violent pasts or mental health disorders have easy access to guns. Gun control does not mean the elimination of all guns. Gun control does mean having better control of them which is a current necessity. If you want an in-depth read on gun control and mass shootings check out our other blog here

As of Monday evening, Aldrich has yet to be booked in the county jail and is still in the hospital with unknown injuries.