Shooting in Boulder Colorado and Gun Violence in the United States


Sophomore Izzy Strent, advocating for gun control even in a small way. Photo Credit: Nicole Powichroski

Nicole Powichroski

March 22nd 2021 in Boulder, Colorado a fatal mass shooting took the lives of ten innocent civilians. The 2:30 attack was actioned over an agonizing 58 minutes in a King Soopers supermarket. The suspect first shot an elderly man in the parking lot then a person in his vehicle in the parking lot. After aiming in the parking lot he entered the store and opened fire. Before being taken away by SWAT the shooter undressed himself to only his shorts and told them “I surrender. I’m naked.” 


Suspect of the shooting is twenty-one year old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, who was taken into custody on site the day of the massacre. On site officers exchanged gunfire to which he was then shot in the leg in efforts to take him down. After being treated at the hospital for his wounds he was taken to jail on ten counts of first degree murder. Alissa’s weapon was an AR- 556 pistol. He had specialized it with an arm brace to make it easier to point fire. Alissa was able to obtain the rifle less than a week before the shooting and also purchased other weapons found in his home. 


This shooting is the second shooting to make national news in March. The first were those in massage parlors in Atlanta targeting Asian American women. With more people leaving the house since the pandemic, gun violence has been on an increase. The increase in gun violence that has been on an uprise since the early 90s has never been an easy topic. On a global statistic in the United States four in 100,000 are subject to gun violence. The second highest rate is in Norway which is less than one in 100,000.


This shooting got very little media coverage then other mass shootings in the past. This stems from a larger issue in which the United States has desensitized to these tragedies. In countless other countries when mass shootings have occured they have been quick to implement more gun control for the security and safety of their citizens. While in the United States more science in solidarity has been spent on the laws being enforced for the safety of the country.


Mia Nardiello, sophomore, who advocates for different social issues on her social medias was asked about the shooting and the correlation to United States gun violence:


How do you think the Boulder shooting shows an ongoing gun problem in the United States?

“We mentioned it for three days before it left the news. We acted like this is something normal and it isn’t. It is not normal to fear to be at the grocery store in large groups. The suspect purchased and used the gun the same week which means it was too easy to obtain for being an assault rifle.”


What kind of gun control do you think would be most effective in reducing gun violence?

“It gets difficult. Some sorts of screenings and background checks could disproportionately affect minority communities when trying to purchase a handgun. If it is going to be refused to ban assault rifles background checks that go extensively throughout their entire life, mental health checks, family home checks, even work checks to fully understand the stability of the individual who will be acquiring the weapon.”


What problem do you think may occur if hypothetically there was a ban on guns?

“It gets complicated in attempts to ban all guns. It would greatly disproportionately affect lower income and minority communities especially those with high crime rates. Although proportionally there are more law enforcement around those neighborhoods, reaction time is still slow and the use of a hand gun will save the lives of many. Even trying to move towards smaller law enforcement it would allow more people the freedom to protect themselves. They can not go gunless while they are more in charge to protect themselves.”