The details of the mass shooting in Colorado Springs, Co. are simply awful. On a fall afternoon, a white male in the city of 445,000 began firing at innocent civilians, killing three people, including a decorated Army veteran; friends noted that the victim survived duty in Iraq only to be gunned down on the streets of what Money magazine called the nation’s “The Best Place To Live.” Friday’s deadly rampage at Planned Parenthood was horrific, but this case happened in Colorado Springs on Halloween. The 42nd biggest U.S. city experienced two mass shootings of random innocent citizens in just 27 days.
The first triple homicide was carried out by Noah Harpham, 33, two days after a rambling blog post about his Christian religion, his struggles with substance abuse and “mind control.” Carrying a military-style rifle and a pistol, he gunned down the first person he saw, the three-tour, 35-year-old Iraq war veteran Andrew Alan Myers, who was out for a Saturday bike ride. Then he killed two women at a home for substance abuse victims. Someone had called 911 after seeing Harpham with a gun, but the 911 operator said, “Well, it is an open carry state, so he can have a weapon with him or walking around with it.” Colorado is one of 31 states that allow largely unfettered open carrying of firearms in public; among the few states that ban the practice, unexpectedly, are Texas and Florida.