United States is experiencing a record-setting year for mass shootings

Photo from Facebook

NATIONWIDE – On November 19th,  minutes before the clock struck 12:00 am, a gunman, 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich opened fire inside an LGBTQ establishment, Club Q, located at 3430 N. Academy Blvd. in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Shattering what should have been a weekend of celebration for partygoers, Aldrich engaged in the mass murder of five people in a  town of about 478,000 residents.  Twenty-five others were injured during the melee.  Initial reports stated that eighteen people were injured.

Transgender Day of Remembrance The dance and nightclub spread flyers on Facebook announcing Transgender Day of Remembrance which is on November 20. The day honors the lives of transgender and gender-diverse people tragically lost to violence.  Included are the countless members of the transgender community who face discrimination, violence, and harassment.

Recently, The Human Rights Campaign Foundation “An Epidemic of Violence: Fatal Violence Against Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People in the United States in 2021” the report honored the memory of  46 transgender and gender non-conforming people murdered in 2021. With 46 known deaths since January 1, HRC has officially recorded more violent deaths of transgender and gender non-conforming people than any year since we began tracking this violence in 2013. Previously, the highest known number of fatal deaths of transgender and gender non-conforming people was in 2020, when we reported 44 people were violently killed.

A City in Mourning

Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD)  police Chief Adrian Vasquez assured the community that the department stood by those who were inflicted. Investigators recovered two guns on the scene and said Aldrich used a long gun during the shooting.  Aldrich was taken into custody and is being treated at a hospital.

According to reports, Aldrich’s rampage only lasted minutes and he was subdued by two heroic customers.  Club Q  took to their Facebook page on Sunday and wrote, “Club Q is devastated by the senseless attack on our community. Our prays (sic)  and thoughts are with all the victims and their families and friends. We thank the quick reactions of heroic customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack.” They are currently closed and is the only LGBTQ nightclub in the area.

Political Support

The governor of Colorado Governor Jared Polis, the first openly gay man elected governor in the United States released a statement following a horrific shooting in Colorado Springs that occurred:  “This is horrific, sickening, and devastating. My heart breaks for the family and friends of those lost, injured, and traumatized in this horrific shooting. I have spoken with Mayor Suthers and made it clear that every state resource is available to local law enforcement in Colorado Springs. We are eternally grateful for the brave individuals who blocked the gunman likely saving lives in the process and for the first responders who responded swiftly to this horrific shooting. Colorado stands with our LGTBQ community and everyone impacted by this tragedy as we mourn together.”

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said on her Facebook page,”On Trans Day of Remembrance the community is in mourning. Violent attacks on our LGBTQ+ family, friends, and neighbors are on the rise. We will not let hatred prevail. Today and every day, we stand with the community and commit ourselves to protecting them and tackling the epidemic of gun violence head on.”

National Resources

LGBTQ+ National Hotline – The LGBTQIA+ National Hotline is staffed by highly trained volunteers who identify somewhere on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. They provide a safe space that is anonymous and confidential. Callers can speak on many different issues and concerns including, but not limited to: coming out issues, gender and/or sexuality identities, relationship concerns, bullying, workplace issues, HIV/AIDS anxiety, safer sex information, suicide, and much more.  Call 1-888-843-4564.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in suicidal crises or emotional distress, prevention and resources for you or your loved ones, along with best practices for professionals in the United States. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or dial 988.

The Trevor Project – You can call, text, or chat with trained counselors who will provide information and support to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning young people 24/7. The Trevor Project aims to end suicide among LGBTQIA+ youth.

Trans Lifeline – Trans Lifeline’s hotline is a peer support phone service run by trans people for trans and questioning individuals. Its goal is to connect trans people to community support and resources. Call 1-877-565-8860.

BlackLine – BlackLine is a 24-hour hotline for the Black, Black LGBTQIA+, Brown, Native and Muslim community. However, no one will be turned away from the Hotline. The purpose of the BlackLine is to provide individuals with an anonymous and confidential avenue to report negative, physical, and inappropriate contact with police and vigilantes, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Call 1 (800) 604-5841.

DeQH Hotline – DeQH provides confidential support for South Asian lesbian, gay, bi, queer trans, non-binary, questioning individuals in the U.S. from trained South Asian LGBQ/TGNB+ peer support volunteers. Call (908) 367-3374.

Crisis Text Line – Text HOME to 741741 to reach a Crisis Counselor. Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, providing access to free, 24/7 support. “Crisis doesn’t just mean thinking about ending your own life,” states their website. “It’s any painful emotion and anytime you need support.” The CSPD is asking anyone who may have seen something or has information about this incident or has video to please contact them at (719) 444-7000.

The Trend

In an article written by Northeastern reporter Ian Thomsen he writes about how the United States is experiencing a record-setting year for mass shootings. According to James Alan Fox, a Northeastern professor who maintains the longest-running and most extensive data source on mass killings 2022 has been a deadly year.

The growing number of casualties is fueled by tragedies like the recent mass shooting of five people at a Colorado nightclub—an event that has also contributed to a rise in hate crimes nationally, according to Carlos Cuevas, co-director of Northeastern’s Violence and Justice Research Lab. “I’ve been studying mass killings for over 40 years and I am quite confident that there has never been a year where we’ve had so many,” says Fox, the Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law and Public Policy at Northeastern. There have been 35 mass shootings in 2022, says Fox. The escalation has been driven by what Fox calls “an unprecedented surge” of 13 mass shootings resulting in four or more deaths since October 3. “That’s an average of about two mass shootings per week,” Fox says, “compared with the usual average of two per month.”

This is a developing article and will be updated accordingly.

Updated: Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Per the Gun Violence Archive

Mass Shooting Methodology and Reasoning

Mass Shootings are, for the most part, an American phenomenon. While they are generally grouped together as one type of incident they are several with the foundation definition being that they have a minimum of four victims shot, either injured or killed, not including any shooter who may also have been killed or injured in the incident.

The U.S. has witnessed 617 mass shootings [4+ shot and/or killed, not including the shooter in 37 different states and Washington D.C. in the 333 days of 2022.
Aldrich has been arrested and faces 5 murder charges and 5 charges of committing a bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury. This is a developing article and will be updated accordingly.