What happened in Colorado Springs this weekend was part of a trend of escalating violence targeting gay spaces
As far as mass shootings, go, it was over quickly. Just before midnight on Saturday, a man carrying multiple magazines of ammunition entered the Club Q, a gay bar in Colorado Springs, Colorado, spraying gunfire. As bullets flew, two patrons at the club subdued the attacker by grabbing the gun from him, and hitting him with it. They held him down until police arrived. The first 911 call was made at 11.56pm; the killer was taken into custody at 12.02am. But in those six minutes, five people were killed, including Daniel Aston and Derrick Rump, two men who were tending bar, and Kerry Loving, a partygoer. Eighteen were wounded. As the clock struck midnight, it became a holiday for the bar’s community: Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honors trans people killed in hate attacks, was observed on Sunday.
There’s a grim routine, these days, to the mass shootings in America. Some elements remain constant from shooting to shooting. Usually, the gunman is a young white man, and usually, he has a history of violence against women. There will have been mental health episodes, or previous run-ins with police. But none of this history will have stopped him from getting a gun. American mass shooters tend to use automatic or semi-automatic long guns, the kind that aren’t available to civilians in other countries. Almost always, they purchased them legally.