Not again, why, how can someone hate so much. The thoughts that go through our heads when we hear of yet another tragedy, an attack against our community. The openly gay and newly re-elected Colorado Governor Jared Polis responded to the tragedy on Facebook.
But then we do have the newly re-elected bowel movement Lauren Boebert share her thoughts and prayers from the confines of her pointy white hood. Luckily Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) called her out.
.@laurenboebert you have played a major role in elevating anti-LGBT+ hate rhetoric and anti-trans lies while spending your time in Congress blocking even the most common sense gun safety laws.
You don’t get to “thoughts and prayers” your way out of this. Look inward and change. https://t.co/mxt6wFMVEv
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 20, 2022
Bravo Governor, Bravo AOC, shame low blow Boebert.
When we have our safe spaces, when the haters force us into these places so we can feel safe and we think, there, we are out of their way, we are out of their sights, out of their realm of hate, we can be us. Well, no, some are still not satisfied and must go further to attack us in those spaces. There is not a win situation it seems.
But why did this attack happen? We look back at Pulse Orlando and some say it was a religious fanatic that attacked us there, others say it was a young troubled and questioning man that was done feeling rejected and wanted revenge. There is no solid answer because that person was killed and unable to be questioned. Now, the police have a person in custody in the Colorado Springs attack and maybe we can get some answers as to why this supposed human attacked us in our safe space.
Who is the Alleged Attacker –
Anderson Lee Aldrich is the 22-year-old currently in custody for perpetrating the mass shooting at Club Q nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado just before midnight on November 19, 2022, leaving five dead and 25 injured. Some reports are clarifying that the 18 to 25 injured, many were injured while trying to flee the bar and not by gunfire.
So who is Anderson Lee Aldrich. Heavy.com has done some quick digging to find out his political and familial ties as well as his history with the authorities and possible issues with depression.
Political Grandfather –
Aldrich is the grandson of outgoing Republican California State Assemblymember Randy Voepel seen here sporting the colors of his party. Voepel represents the 71st district in the San Diego area.
— Asm. Randy Voepel (@RandyVoepel) January 20, 2017
He’s on record for making comments comparing the January 6 attacks to the Revolutionary War, which lead to calls to expel him from the California State Assembly. The alleged shooter’s mother, Laura Voepel, has written posts praising her father Randy Voepel on Facebook.
“This is Lexington and Concord. First shots fired against tyranny,” Randy Voepel, who was defeated in a Republican primary in August 2022, said in a San Diego Union-Tribune article three days after January 6. “Tyranny will follow in the aftermath of the Biden swear-in on January 20th.” According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Voepel “later tweeted that he condemned violence and lawlessness.” Voepel and his office did not immediately respond to requests for comments from Heavy. – Heavy.com
Mental Health Concerns –
Since there are no social media accounts known of by the alleged killer Anderson Lee Aldrich, one needs to learn about him from friends or family members’ posts. His mother’s Facebook posts make us believe he was dealing with mental health issues in the past. She posted often about her son in a Facebook group Sisters of Colorado Springs, a group for women involved in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Colorado Springs area. In a July 2021, she asked for help finding a criminal defense attorney.
“Hello Sisters. Does anyone know of a fantastic defense attorney?
I ask this with a heavy heart but my family really needs some help at this time.
We have cash to retain good counsel. Thank you.”
In February 2022, she wrote:
“Hello Sisters. Can anyone please recommend a great trauma/ptsd therapist?”
and indicated it was for a 21 year old, which Aldrich then was.
Apparently, things were getting better as Aldrich’s mother asked in May 2022:
“Can anybody refer my son to a private boxing coach? He’s 6’6” tall and hits like a freight train.
Cannot find a good gym or anyone serious. He has made huge life changes and needs this!”
The problem with learning more about an alleged killer, you sometimes put yourself into the victim’s shoes, being there, confronting this awful person. Not only did he have a weapon, but it just seemed he himself was weaponized with stress, boxing and a huge 6’6 frame.
Colorado Chief of Police Vasquez stated, “The suspect entered Club Q and immediately began shooting people inside. At least two ‘heroic people confronted’ and stopped Anderson Aldrich from being able to harm others.” The brave souls and witnesses and the victims have still not been identified.
huge emergency response near Club Q in Colorado Springs. counted at least six ambulances pic.twitter.com/lOUwKsVhcO
— daisy (@daiziezie) November 20, 2022
History with Law Enforcement –
Good lord, this is depressing. Let’s look at more signs that this kid/man needed help. In 2021, a time that aligns with the mother looking for a criminal defense attorney on Facebook, Anderson Lee Aldrich was accused of being involved in a bomb threat situation with weapons in the Lorson Ranch neighborhood of Colorado Springs. She said her son was threatening to cause harm to her with a homemade bomb, multiple weapons and ammunition. Here is a visual of the press release where police charged him with 2 counts of Felony Menacing and 3 counts of First-Degree Kidnapping.
There was no mugshot shared. There is no record of any current court case or dealings with the 5 counts mentioned. I wonder where his charges went? Did he go to some treatment center, hence the delay in the mom’s reaching out for help 7 months after the arrest
What do we do now? We all know that every man boy with an AR, AK, A-whatever 15 rifle or multiple munitions that have caused these atrocities are found to be just not mentally sound, which makes our lives unsafe to live around them. It sounds like the signs were there, it sounds like the hate was there, the unbalanced mind, the access to weapons, and what we don’t know is the motive. Speculations are all over the place. Was he mad that his grandfather did not win re-election to a liberal? There was no mention of a father figure really so was there familial strife there? Did he have questions about his sexuality and didn’t know how to deal with them, I’m sure the MAGA family history may not be helpful there.
I don’t know, we don’t know. But it is sad that there are too many of our safe spaces that have armed guards to keep them safe spaces. We have to arm ourselves to protect ourselves from those that shove us into those safe spaces. Some don’t want us in sight, so we go there, but we still welcome “them”. Some don’t want us to exist, and then we have to deal with bomb threats, protests at drag brunches, churches protesting at funerals.
I remember after Pulse, we in Wilton Manors felt uneasy and cautious as we were equidistant from the killer’s home as Orlando. Then we had to deal with a pathetic man’s threat against our community claiming basically that he was going to carry out a bigger event that Pulse in Wilton Manors. We all know who he is, even though the government did nothing about it. And he was home grown, too. A vile gay man that stalks people nationally and internationally. But we as a community don’t get the results we need unless there is physical violence and it’s too late.
But it seems that’s the ‘Merkian’t way, we have to wait to see the neighbor in their rollers and night gown saying, “he was a quiet boy, kept to himself.” But no, he wasn’t. They have history, they have a past, they are there, and we’ve already seen them. Will this boil down to MAGA ties, religious ties, mental illness history? We don’t know, but those may be the easiest conclusions, but they may not be right. No answer is a good answer as deaths have occurred and nothing can alter that fact.
There is no answer to stop the violence besides listen to those around you, stop judging those around you, stop the hate, and if they show you who they truly are, pay attention.
Here is the most recent press conference by the Colorado Springs Police Department and the mayor and the district attorney.
Yes, this article has some personal comments that may not align with those of fellow writers or the magazine, but they are shared. Leave some comments if you agree or disagree.