Volume No. 18 Issue No. 4 April 2021  

Michelle Barrette
  By Michelle Barrette

     On March 23, Denver KDVR reported that between 1982 and 2021 to date, Colorado has the fifth-highest number of mass shootings in the country. According to the article, a mass shooting was defined as four or more fatalities (absent a crime) in a public area.
   On Monday, March 22, another scar appeared on the beautiful Colorado landscape.
   However, it’s not about Colorado or any other state.
   For the next few months, the Legal Beagles will try to figure out why Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa of Arvada killed 10 people in a grocery store in Boulder, a pretty university town well-known for its liberal leanings. But nothing yet identifies Boulder as a target for this mass shooting. And nothing waves red flags about why he chose King Soopers.
   Allissa’s brother, Ali Aliwi, said the shooter was bullied in high school and was found guilty of viciously attacking a fellow student, namely because of racial slurs. I don’t doubt that he had his share of racism directed at him, but if everyone shot people at random based on their own experience with racism, there would be a lot more dead people in this country.
   Alissa’s brother and other family members said he has a mental illness. I think people have to be careful when calling perpetrators mentally ill. Mental health experts tell us that mental illness is rarely manifested through mass shootings.
   The suspect's sister-in-law told police family members had seen Alissa “playing” with a “machine” like gun. There’s a red flag.
   I personally don’t think FBI profilers, psychiatrists, law enforcement, etc., can identify everyone who is capable of committing these horrific acts. But Alissa’s family had already witnessed his violent behavior, paranoia and the fact that he had played with an assault rifle, which he had recently purchased.
   Why didn’t someone in his family take Alissa’s gun away from him? Why didn’t someone alert the police? How did this man purchase this rifle in the first place?
   I know we are a small-town newspaper; but, no matter, we all need to address these ugly scars on the face of our state and our country. It is up to us as individuals to take responsibility for someone who is within our reach and acting out in strange ways. It will take a village to combat this war on our nation.
   So, on to another subject that we all need to address. Drought — it sure doesn’t seem possible, given all the snow we have had, that we will once again be directed to limit our use of water this spring and summer. Leslie Sheley gives us an update on drought conditions and answers questions about how snowfall affects drought.
   Although April Fools’ Day is in the past, we have some April Fool’s mishaps in Monkey Business and April Fools’ fun stuff with Phun Photos.
   Also, we have two great articles from Leslie on what’s happening in District 49. We would like to have a regular series on D 49: Getting to know your school district. If you have ideas for topics or questions for the district, send us an email.
   Happy Easter, Happy Spring! Don’t forget Earth Day is April 22.
   See you in May!
   - Michelle
   Correction: In the March issue, we published an article on the history of the Women’s Club in Black Forest. We referenced one of the club members as Cindy Winford. Her correct name is Carol Winford. We apologize for the mistake.
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