Washington, D.C., April 17, 2019 — After a massive manhunt, the suspect who allegedly made threats of gun violence against Denver metropolitan area schools has been found dead. According to the FBI, the suspect visited a Colorado gun store and purchased a shotgun and ammunition. The process through which she obtained the gun illustrates the urgent need to strengthen and bolster the nation’s Brady Background Check system.

The month of April marks a number of anniversaries of high-profile shootings, including the 20-year anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School that killed 24 and injured 13 on April 20, 1999. In efforts to provide support to survivors, Brady has partnered with the American Association of Suicidology (AAS), the Disaster Distress Helpline, and others to create a new resource on how communities can assist those impacted by gun violence. This new resource is made all the more timely in the wake of the trauma facing Denver-metro area students today.

Statement from Kyleanne Hunter, Brady’s Vice President of Programs:

“Just days before the 20th anniversary of the Columbine massacre, students at Columbine High School once again fled from school in fear for their lives. We heard from one student that he will never forget the looks on the faces of his peers as they ran for their lives during yesterday’s lockdown. No young person should have to live this way, and yet for young people across America this is reality.

It couldn’t be more clear that we need to strengthen our nation’s background check system. We must ask: How did this dangerous person purchase a gun in a day? How did the system fail? This is why Brady always asks, ‘How was the gun obtained?’ Because how is often more important than why.

Twenty years after Columbine, we know that the effects of gun violence don’t stop when the shooting stops. The trauma continues to live in the psyche of the nation and of those suffering PTSD and survivor syndrome. It lives on in the rehabilitation of those who were injured. And it lives on in the fear it engenders as we go about our daily lives. But that’s all we know about the health effects of gun violence — because the gun industry and its allies in Congress have made it virtually impossible to research how this public health epidemic impacts our communities.

This epidemic must be examined and cured. Our children deserve to go to school and walk down the street without fear of being shot. We all deserve to be safe from gun violence. It’s time our leaders take action to end this.

The Columbine community has had enough. America has had enough. To the Columbine community: We're here for you, and we're fighting for you. This violence must end.”

Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.


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