Nearly two months after the tragic February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the debate over the proliferation of guns in the U.S. continues to rage. But while mass-casualty events grab the headlines, individual incidents of gun violence, many of which attract little attention, result in fatality figures that are just as shocking. A disturbing example: Since last July, the same number of teenagers have been shot to death in Colorado as were slain at Stoneman Douglas.
Our source for this information is GunMemorial.org, whose Colorado page we recently highlighted in this space. The website creates a virtual place to mourn for family, friends and acquaintances of people killed by guns either at the hands of others or themselves. As site founder Steve Tarzia told us, "Every story is different, and there are definitely people on our pages who would have died whether they had a gun or not. And there are also many cases where guns save lives. But there are many more cases where they cost them."
Fourteen teenagers were murdered at Parkland, out of seventeen victims total. In Colorado, that same number of teens has been killed since July 29, 2017, when eighteen-year-old Thomas Gwardyak was lost to gun violence in Penrose, a small community southwest of Colorado Springs.
Teen gunshot deaths represent just over 10 percent of the total gun-violence victims over that span. Through March 30, when twins Amanda and Sara Eldritch took their own lives near the Royal Gorge, 116 Coloradans died by gun. That total includes two preteens: Stephie Hamula, ten, was fatally shot on August 14, 2017, and Branden Patten, nine, died of his injuries on March 2 in Arboles, a town not far from Durango along the Colorado-New Mexico border.
Continue to see each of the fourteen Colorado victims, with links to additional information at GunMemorial.org. Many were innocent victims. Some were not. But the instrument that caused their death was the same.
Lost to gun violence on July 29, 2017, in Penrose, Colorado.
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Lost to gun violence on October 29, 2017, in Colorado Springs.
Lost to gun violence on November 16, 2017, in Denver.
Lost to gun violence on November 25, 2017, in Denver.
E'Majin Imarrhi Willis-Tejan
Lost to gun violence on November 27, 2017, in Colorado Springs.
Fatally shot on December 7, 2017, in Denver.
Lost to gun violence on January 28, 2018, in Fort Collins.
Lost to gun violence on February 3, 2018 in Denver.
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Abisai Ponce Gutierrez
Lost to gun violence on February 3, 2018, in Denver.
Fatally shot on February 5, 2018, in Colorado Springs.
Fatally shot on February 27, 2018, in Denver.
Lost to gun violence on March 17, 2018, in Denver.