10 people are killed in a Boulder shooting directly after gun restriction was banned



King Soopers parking lot in Boulder, CO where the shooting took place.

Baily Plourde, Staff Writer

On Mar. 22, 2021 another 10 people were lost to the violence of guns in America. Last weekend, a gunman stormed a crowded supermarket, King Soopers, in Boulder, Colorado, killing 10 citizens ranging ages from 20 to 65. Over almost an hour, the gunman threatened an entire grocery store filled with a community of innocent lives. As Colorado is much too familiar with the tragedies of gun violence, this heart-breaking news caused more of the public to suffer the losses. 

In the years past, Colorado has endured many shootings similar to the Colorado King Soopers tragedy. Because of these horrors, three years ago, Colorado voted to ban assault weapons in hopes of preventing these types of events from ever occurring again. However, 10 days before the catastrophe that took place last Monday, this achievement was hindered by a lawsuit saying that it had infringed on a law that bars local officials from making their own gun laws

“The reason we had the assault weapons ban was to prevent exactly the sort of tragedy that happened yesterday,” said Rachel Friend, a Colorado city council member. 

As the gunman used a semi-automatic AR-15 style gun, the city is currently in the process of reconsidering the appeal. With the ruling being stopped on Mar. 12, only days before the shooting, people may never know if the assault weapons ban would have stopped the gunman. This aggression was not only towards the supermarket but on the entire community as King Soopers has been known to hold large value to south Boulder locals.

“It really is not just a grocery store,” said Dawn Reinfeld, a Boulder resident who co-founded the gun violence prevention group Blue Rising. “When do we have so much gun violence that we actually do something about it? Even if it’s not the perfect solution and doesn’t make it all go away, we have to try.” 

Although it is unknown whether the ban would have put a stop to the actions of the shooter, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation concluded that the gun used was bought legally and registered in the gunman’s name. They believe nothing involving the federal system would have hindered him from being taken through the proper protocols needed including a thorough background check. 

While officials believe this to be true, court documents from 2018 bring up some red flags and cause questions in the dispensation of a lethal weapon to the gunman. According to these documents, the gunman pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault in 2018 and was sentenced to one year on probation, 48 hours of community service and anger response treatment. The misdemeanor included an assault on a classmate in his high school earlier that year. 

“Regarding the firearm in question, a background check of the purchaser was conducted as required by Colorado law and approval for the sale was provided by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation,” said John Mark Eagleton, the owner of Eagles Nest Armory where the gunman bought said gun six days before the shooting occurred. 

Eagleton also made it quite clear in an interview with CNN that he can ensure the security of every sale in his shop and that sales being lawful is their highest priority. 

With all the facts laid out, the question of “why?’ continues to haunt the victims’ families along with other loved ones throughout the tight-knit community. Continuing from the many other dead ends this case has faced, the gunman’s motive remains unknown. Yet with authorities being eager to give closure to these families, the case remains open. The suspect is currently being charged with 10 counts of murder accompanied by an additional charge of attempted murder for the single police officer that first arrived on the scene.