Under the gun 

A BBC announcer covering last week's carnage at San Bernardino opened with the line: "Just another day in the United States of America. Another day of panic, gunfire and fear." How do you see gun violence in America?

click to enlarge Christian Bretschneider
  • Christian Bretschneider

Christian Bretschneider of Rockrimmon is a sound engineer.

What accounts for the high rate of gun violence in the United States? A lot of unhappy people searching for someone or something to blame, who think a gun will solve what ails them.

Colorado has been no stranger to gun-violence national headlines in recent years. What makes Colorado so prone to gun violence? I'm not so sure the incidents in Colorado are statistically disproportionate. Mass shootings are occurring all over the country — California, Chicago, Detroit, New York, Baltimore, Florida.

In the wake of Paris, Americans are on edge about the threat of terrorism. Which are you personally more likely to be the victim of: an act of terrorism or an act of local, homegrown gun violence? Homegrown gun violence, whether at the hands of police or some fanatic with a gun.

Do you own a gun? No, but I've thought about it.

click to enlarge Eric Weddington
  • Eric Weddington

Eric Weddington of Denver works for a tech company.

Why the high volume of gun violence in the U.S.? We have a very heterogeneous population. There are lots of competing values, attitudes and ways of looking at life.

Colorado has garnered more than its share of national headlines about gun violence. What's behind it? The West has always had a libertarian bent that allows fringe mindsets and polarized, conspiracy-theory, us-versus-them outlooks to flourish. Add to that a strongly conservative military and religious presence in Colorado Springs and that we're one of the most pro-gun cities in the state, and the chance for violence is pretty high.

Do you own a gun? No, but I have in the past.

click to enlarge Cyndi McFarland
  • Cyndi McFarland

Cyndi McFarland of Rockrimmon is a stay-at-home mom.

What accounts for the high level of U.S. gun violence? People using guns too easily and quickly to deal with some problem or situation. The Second Amendment allows unlimited gun ownership, but too many people confuse the right to own guns with the right to use them.

Why so much gun violence in Colorado and Colorado Springs? I was warned when I moved here from Georgia three years ago about people in Colorado who do extreme things when they have extreme feelings. We've all seen how guns can play into that.

Do you own a gun? No. And I won't enter an establishment that allows guns. If I saw someone with a gun, I'd leave immediately because someone with a gun is someone who thinks he or she might need to use it to deal with some problem.


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