Colorado Springs Shooting Shakes The States


Hayden Gust

Pattonville GSA holds a vigil in remembrance to those lost in the Colorado Springs Club Q shooting.

Hayden Gust, Staff Writer

On Saturday November 20, 2022, Anderson Lee Aldrich walked into a predominantly gay club called Club Q and opened fire with a long rifle. The shooting killed five people and injured 19 others. This tragedy has shaken the nation as a whole, and especially queer communities. Many have equated this to the Pulse Night Club Shooting that happened back in 2016.
Robin Woodrome, Positive School art teacher at PHS, GSA sponsor, parent to an LGBTQ child, and works closely with LGBTQ kids.
“LGBTQIA+ people already face frequent discrimination and harassment in many settings. The people at Club Q thought they were in a safe space where they could just be themselves. They were spending their Saturday night as any adults might, having fun with friends and family. They didn’t deserve to be killed and terrorized,” Woodrome said.
Lauren Church, science teacher and parent who works closely with GSA, was disheartened by this tragedy.
“I saw it had occurred and that lives were lost, and it felt too familiar to stuff that has happened before, like the Pulse nightclub shooting down in Florida. It broke my heart instantly to see that it had happened… My first thought was how is this happening again?” Church said.
Mary Cross, math teacher, offered her concerns with these communities being targeted.
“It makes me worried… It’s scary, because I have family members, not just one, including people really close to me, friends [who are in the LGBTQIA+ community]. It’s sad I have to worry about them going about their daily business,” Cross said.
As any parent would, Church views the world in such a way to protect those around her.
“Being a parent, safety is the first lens in which I view the world. They were someone’s child too, and the fact that they were attacked in their space, you shouldn’t have to worry about things like safety when you’re out and about.” Church continued.
The stress isn’t only placed on the victims or queer communities, it is also placed on those who love those people.
“You want to be able to protect your loved ones, and to know that they have to go out into the world, into the spaces where people might not like them or accept them. Or even worse, that they want to do them harm.” Cross said.
While this tragedy did not occur here in Missouri, it is still a rattling event for students. Students may feel unsafe or mourning for those lost in the shooting. Christy Wills, a counselor here at PHS offered some advice to those who are grieving and mourning this tragedy.
“My biggest thing with grief or trauma, is to find good social support, and to make sure that the interactions are safe and healthy. Creating space for the emotions and not just trying to scroll past them, I think it’s important to make space to feel something, but not leave that box open when you have things to feel,” Wills said.
Church offered her support to students feeling affected as well.
“Find someone to talk to about it, when in doubt come talk to me. It is upsetting and concerning. I know some people don’t like to verbally process, I know some people turn that sadness and anguish into art. Just know that you aren’t alone and that you are protected and safe,” Church said.
Cross offers her words of encouragement in wake of this tragedy.
“We love you, There are people out there that love you, can’t let the bads outweigh the goods. We’re gonna keep trying to protect you guys, gotta keep fighting… If we give up, nothing will change so we gotta keep fighting,” said Cross.

GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network), a leading LGBTQ resource which works with other leading resources, acknowledges this tragedy, with a video which you can find HERE. If you are feeling unsafe or in need of support, reach out to a trusted adult or you can reach out to a counselor at the Trevor Project.