Before we get started, this is not my favorite time of year. It hasn’t been for over two decades. Every year around this time my anxiety ratchets up to 1000%. I always wonder will this be the year somebody finally gets away with it after so many attempts have been made. With the way things have been going not only this year but last year as well, I’m almost convinced this will be the year it happens, even though I pray to God it isn’t. I won’t explain, but if you know you know.
Anyway, late last month, 17-year-old Austin Lyle shot two faculty members of East High School in Denver, Colorado. The faculty members were identified as school administrators Eric Sinclair and Jerald Mason. Thankfully, both men have survived their injuries.
Lyle had previously been removed from a high school in Aurora over disciplinary problems. As part of an arrangement to attend East High, Lyle had to submit to a frisking every school day to make sure he wasn’t carrying any weapons. No weapons were ever found on him before the day of the shooting.
During that day’s search, a gun was found on Lyle. At that point, Lyle opened fire, striking Sinclair and Mason. Lyle was able to flee the school and remained at large for several hours. Police in Park County found Lyle’s body next to his car later that night. Lyle had taken his own life with a self-inflicted gunshot.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the similarities between the East High shooting and a shooting from 2005.
Back then, 15-year-old Kenny Bartley was searched on suspicion of having a gun at Campbell County High School in Tennessee. A struggle ensued for the gun and in the struggle Bartley shot and killed the school’s assistant principal, and gravely wounded the school’s principal and vice-principal. Since his release in 2014, Bartley has had a number of run-ins with the law.
The reason I mention this is that in 18 years, nothing has changed. School kids are still getting their hands on guns.
Previously, I mentioned that Lyle was removed from an Aurora school for disciplinary issues. The issue was that Lyle was arrested for being in possession of a ghost gun and a high-capacity magazine.
For those who may not know, A ghost gun is a firearm that is built at home or in a workshop, without serial numbers or other identifying marks that are usually present on commercially produced guns. The term ‘ghost’ refers to the fact that these firearms are untraceable and can be difficult for law enforcement to track.
Ghost guns can be built using kits that are available for purchase online, which contain all the necessary components, such as a receiver, barrel, and other parts. Alternatively, individuals can create their own designs using 3D printers or other tools, which can be even more difficult to trace.
Only eleven states have any kind of legislation regulating ghost guns, with only eight of the states banning them outright. Colorado is not one of those states. You’d think since Colorado is essentially the birthplace of modern school shootings, they would do something about keeping guns out of the hands of children, yet here we are.
Not only does Colorado need to do better, but so do the other 38 states that allow these untraceable murder machines on their streets and potentially in their schools.
- The body of a Denver high school shooting suspect is found near his car
- Student who was patted down each day allegedly shoots 2 staffers at Denver high school
- 2 administrators shot at Denver’s East High School; body found near suspect’s vehicle in Park County
- Denver student, 17, was arrested over ghost gun two years before shooting two staff members at high school