For the 2nd time in +/- 10 years I was driving to an appointment and watched as 9 police cars and emergency vehicles sped in the opposite direction. As a resident of Littleton, CO a shiver goes through your spine and you immediately wonder what is going on. Then, you notice they are turning on Ken Caryl Road the way to Chatfield High School. Another shiver and you only hope it is not true.

MINES and Associates is located in Littleton, CO, a suburb of Denver. We all know the Columbine tragedy too well being located just a couple of miles from Columbine High School and less than 2 miles from Chatfield High School. Chatfield was the school that went to split sessions after the terrible shootings and the closing of Columbine so that Columbine students and faculty could use their school building 6 AM to 12 noon and then Chatfield students could use it 12 Noon to 6 PM through the end of the year.

Both my children went to Chatfield and both had friends and acquaintances shot at Columbine.

Why Shoot Children?
We quickly learned it was a school shooting but at the local middle school, Deer Creek, not the high school. Strange as it is, you turn off of Wadsworth Blvd onto Columbine Road to get to Deer Creek Middle School. Two children were shot, one seriously, before a courageous teacher jumped on the shooter (an adult) while reloading his gun. We are all really lucky no further shots were fired.

Why Shoot Children?
Too early to hear why this happened, but the shooter’s father has said his son was troubled and could not afford his medication. Is this an example of why America needs to make sure all people, rich and poor, have access to medical care?

Why Shoot Children?
All of this reminds me of one of the most emotional newspaper photos I think I have ever seen. Two, 14-15 yr old high school students, tears in their eyes, holding each other with candles in their hands at the Columbine candlelight vigil. The boy was my son and the girl is now my daughter-in-law. Today she is a high school counselor at one of the other large Jefferson County high schools here in Denver. He is a lawyer who wants to help people. They have witnessed tragedy too many times in their short lives and together hope to make this a better world.

Why Shoot Children?
Today will be a busy day at MINES & Associates as our counselors, therapists and case managers talk with parents, children, teachers, and local safety officers about yet another school shooting. The school is closed today and possibly for the rest of the week. Because the shooting happened as the children were leaving school, the majority of the school’s population witnessed the incident.
MINES & Associates is a business psychology firm that provides EAP (Employee Assistance Programs) to companies and their employees. We also provide Critical Incident Assistance to companies and organizations involved in such tragic events. If you need help or someone to talk to, ask your employer to contact us.

We will be there to help as needed.

So, Why Shoot the Children?……..

Allan Benson is a Director at MINES & Associates. He can be reached at 720-979-8046.