I had been waiting for almost 2 months for a stage four pressure wound to be clean enough for major surgery. On April 28, the doctors were finally ready to operate. Then after spending five weeks in bed waiting to heal, I was at last able to begin my rehabilitation therapy. Craig hospital only treats individuals with spinal cord injuries or brain trauma. Three of the students who had been shot at Columbine were now going through rehabilitation with me. My heart went out to them. Their situation was so different than mine. At 55 years old, I had my wife of 37 years by my side and a large support system of family and friends who were already reaching out to us since my accident had happened. The Columbine students were still teenagers who, more than likely, the day before the shooting had been struggling with the same personal and developmental problems as any other adolescent. I had a vast amount of life experiences that I could draw on to help me deal with the overwhelming demands and challenges of my new life. What resources did these young people have to draw from? Adjusting to a new life, we knew we would have unbelievable challenges overwhelming us at times. What would it be like for these young people?
Looking back now, Columbine was the beginning of a terrible new trend in our society. You gain a very different perspective on the personalization of tragedies like these when you watch the victims struggle with not only the physical adjustments, but the psychological impact as well.
The shooters at Columbine had semi-automatic weapons. For one semi-automatic pistol there were three magazines or clips which held 52, 32, and 28 bullets respectively. It is impossible not to ask why? If you have read my blogs or visited my website, you know what an avid hunter I am and the struggles I had to overcome to adapt to the challenges of my quadriplegia, including switching to a semi-automatic shotgun. The shotgun I use can hold five rounds but we never put in more than three. Why do we need assault rifles and large capacity magazines?
Why do we need these weapons, with the high capacity clips available to members of the general public? People can go hunting and enjoy target shooting without this massive potential firepower. Anyone opposed to limiting the availability of high capacity clips, at the least, should try imagining themselves in the position of the victims of these heinous crimes. The scars these people and their families bear, both physical and psychological, will be with them every day for the rest of their lives. How can we do less than limit the availability of these weapons and magazines? For all the victims, family members, relatives and the millions of Americans who supporting sensible gun control laws, we can only hope THEY’RE COMING.