In Denver, staving off a sense of hopelessness by lobbying for change


DENVER — Olivia Gardner answered a call she saw on Facebook to help put on Denver’s march. Before 10 a.m., the 19-year-old University of Colorado sophomore was helping city recreation department workers set up speakers and chairs in a park near the state capitol.

Gardner was 8 months old when two Columbine High School students opened fire on their campus near Denver, killing 12 fellow students and a teacher before killing themselves. An Aurora resident, Gardner remembers the 2012 shooting in that Denver suburb in a movie theater.

“I’m really tired of hearing and seeing shootings on the news and getting that feeling, that chill,” Gardner said. “I don’t know how to describe it. A sense of hopelessness.”

Taking steps to bring about change restored some hope for her, she said.

She and other organizers planned to end Saturday’s event by laying out next steps for attendees to take, including lobbying for legislation. Activists in Colorado have called for a law that would allow a relative to go to a judge to get a temporary order keeping guns out the hands of someone believed to be a threat to self or others.

Gardner said such “red flag” legislation is less divisive than other proposals on gun control. Bringing people together around solutions is crucial, she said.

“We’re non-partisan,” she said. “We’re just out trying to not have more people die.”



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