On the day the state of Colorado was poised to enact new gun control laws, the head of the state Department of Corrections, Tom Clements, was shot dead in his home from an unknown assailant.
A man driving a vehicle that matched witness descriptions of the vehicle driven by the man who shot Clements lead police on a high-speed chase yesterday which resulted in his death. Police are now investigating the man as a suspect in the murder.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has a detailed profile of the suspect who, evidently, has ties to white supremacists.
The apparent suspect was identified in several reports as Evan Spencer Ebel, a 28-year-old Denver parolee who was shot to death Thursday after first wounding a North Texas sheriff’s deputy and then crashing his car during a chase that reached speeds of over 100 mph. Officials told the Post and other Colorado news outlets that the Cadillac Ebel was driving is similar to a car that was described by witnesses as waiting outside Clements home for about a half hour before the official was murdered.
Ebel was identified as a member of the 211 Crew, also known as the Aryan Alliance, a particularly vicious regional white supremacist prison gang whose size has been estimated at somewhere between several hundred and a thousand members, all in Colorado. [...]
The 211 Crew may be most infamous for two of its members, Jeremiah Barnum and Nathan Thill, two men who were convicted of charges related to the 1997 bus-stop murder of Senegalese immigrant Oumar Dia. Dia was murdered, Thill once said, because he was “wearing the enemy’s uniform” — his black skin. [...]
The 211 Crew is known for its paramilitary structure, with members using titles like major, captain and lieutenant, and for elaborate verbal and written codes that all members are required to learn.
The reason we need gun control in America is because of men like this. Because the very real threat of being shot by a white madman on a personal crusade is much greater than the imagined threat of being lorded over by the U.N. or some other unspecified oppressor. And a proper, universal background check system would prevent convicted barbarians from picking up a gun on a whim.
No, such a system would not prevent all crimes or all shootings, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do what we can to stop some of them. And the good news is some states are adopting universal background checks on their own while similar legislation remains alive and breathing in the Senate.
Considering that it’s been 14 years since Columbine and that Colorado just enacted new gun control laws, it’s quite obvious that any meaningful change is going to take a great deal of time. And a few more massacres like the Aurora theater shooting.