Sandy Hook Elementary School

In the “People’s Republic of Boulder,” by City Council decree, residents are known as “pet guardians,” and now they’ve stretched their roles to guardians of wild life as well.

On Sunday, about 50 people gathered at Pearl Street Mall for a candlelight vigil to demand justice for an adult, male elk shot by a police officer in a suburban Boulder neighborhood on New Year’s Day.

To honor the elk, participants played recordings of elk bugling from their cell phones. They passed out flyers to passersby. They vowed to mount pressure on police as the investigation continues. In addition to the vigil, a silent march took place recently as well.

Since the shooting, town meetings have been held. The chief of police has made statements. An announcement from the district attorney on whether charges will be filed against the police officer, who reportedly failed to handle the situation by the book, is expected today.

Meanwhile, in interviews with The College Fix, some CU Boulder students offered a different perspective, calling the reactions a bit much, even insulting.

Junior Taylor Lane, 20, said she thought the vigil was “extreme.”

“So many people in Boulder are concerned with our ecological, or ethical, facade and this is a perfect example,” she said. “One animal was shot out of season. I’m certain more than that are hit by traffic on a daily basis.”

What’s more, the Boulder community did not hold a vigil for the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn., in mid-December, in which a classroom of young students were gunned down by a mentally unstable gunman.

Senior Mitchell Whitus, 20, said he feels the Boulder community reacted “to the wrong thing.”

“I saw a report on Channel 4 about the vigil, and a lady who was there compared the shooting of the elk to the Sandy Hook shooting,” he said. “I’m appalled that they would compare the shooting to the massacre of children. Why not hold a vigil for the Sandy Hook shooting, instead? It is crazy.”

Nearly half of Boulder’s residents are registered Democrats, and the city is widely understood as the home of “pet guardians” and environmentalists.

Nevertheless, their reaction to the elk shooting also runs in stark contrast to the lack of any uproar over a bear that was tranquilized on the CU Boulder campus last year, then found dead after being hit by a car.

Meanwhile, other students felt the Boulder community used the elk as a symbol to gather around, but failed to hit on the bigger question of the police officer’s conduct in shooting the beloved creature.

Senior Elizabeth Coombs, 22, said the elk is the wrong target.

“I think we should focus on the potential abuse of power by the officer if he was, indeed, on duty when he shot the elk,” she said.

Fix contributor Aslinn Scott is a student at CU Boulder.

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IMAGE: Odolaigh/Flickr

In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre’s carnage, a variety of high-profile professionals across America – including a sheriff, attorney general, city councilman, county prosecutor and state lawmaker – are calling for teachers or other school employees to be armed in the classroom.

Recently at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., 26 people were shot and killed, including 20 young children, by a gun-wielding, mentally instable 20-year-old man. It was the latest in a long list of fatal school shootings that have occurred over the last 15 years.

Now, while some call for stricter gun-control, others say it’s time for teachers to pack heat. reports that a Tennessee proposal “would specifically allow the state to pay for training and arming some teachers, who would then secretly possess a firearm in the classroom. The plan was introduced by a Republican in the Republican-controlled state legislature and has received some support from the Tennessee governor, Bill Haslam (R).”

Meanwhile, the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel published an article stating that the Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. “called for placing armed tactical officers or security officers ‘in every school and public place in America,’ in a commentary piece posted on a tea party website.”

Clarke also condemns calls for gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass killings in Newtown, Conn., and says, “We have to resist with the ferociousness of a junk yard dog any – any – attempt by liberals to make us less free by chipping away at our constitutional freedoms.”

He berates “liberals for exploiting tragedy once again in our country and try(ing) to use tragedy as a reason to take our rights away.”

Suggestions of gun control “are the mind-set of sheep,” Clarke says.

Over in Southern California, a city councilman said if teachers want, they should be able to arm themselves. The Orange County Register reports the local politician “did not call for arming all teachers but urged the district to allow those who own guns and are trained to use them to take their firearms to school in case they’re needed to ward off an attack. As an alternative, he suggested hiring armed security.”

Meanwhile, in Ohio, Attorney General Mike DeWine and Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters called for school districts to consider allowing teachers and staff members to carry guns on school grounds, as reported by

Underscoring this raging debate across the country, there’s already some precedent established.

The Courier-Journal in Indiana reports “a state law that makes schools gun-free zones exempts anyone who has been employed or authorized by a school ‘to act as a security guard, perform or participate in a school function, or participate in any other activity authorized by a school.’ ”

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IMAGE: Mike J. Martelli/Flickr


USA Today reports that a man who wore a T-Shirt that read “Has your gun killed a kindergartner today?” was arrested at a Tennessee mall.

The man said he made and wore the T-shirt “to support stricter gun control laws following the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy,” the paper reports.

He was eventually arrested for criminal trespassing and filing a false report – but he also has been banned for life from the mall, USA Today stated, adding he plans to contest the arrest charges.

Click here to read the entire article.

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The College Fix offers its heartfelt condolences and prayers to the families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.

Below is a portion of the words of House Speaker John Boehner in the wake of the school shooting:

“The horror of this day seems so unbearable, but we will lock arms and unite as citizens, for that is how Americans rise above unspeakable evil. Let us all come together in God’s grace to pray for the families of the victims, that they may find some comfort and peace amid such suffering.”

Speaker Boehner has ordered flags over the United States Capitol to be lowered to half-staff in honor of the victims of this tragedy.

IMAGE: BL Miers 2/Flickr