Boulder Shooting Evokes Passion, Pessimism, Political Posturing

After 10 were shot and killed in a Boulder supermarket, President Biden called on Congress to pass gun control legislation. Some on the left are saying gun control efforts are the catalyst for ending the Senate filibuster.


A Boulder, Colorado supermarket was the site of a shooting that killed 10 people, including one police officer on Monday.

  • The suspect, Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, who was taken into custody after sustaining a leg injury in a shootout with police, had a history of violent outbursts, mental illness, and at least one assault according to former classmates and family.
  • Alissa, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Syria, has not yet provided a motive for the shooting.
  • In the aftermath of the shooting, President Joe Biden spoke at the White House urging Congress to “immediately pass” gun control legislation, saying “loopholes” in the background check system need to be closed.
  • A 2016 study, reported by The Washington Post, concluded that fewer than 20% of crimes involving firearms are committed by legal gun owners.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • Vox, in defending the notion that the Boulder shooting should spur legislators into action, provided a multitude of statistics and charts showing both the “prevalence of guns” as a leading indicator for lethal violence and public support for specific measures that are said to reduce gun violence, and decrying the “enormously powerful” firearms lobby.
  • CNN, TheWeek, CNBC, Business Insider, and MSNBC all dedicated coverage to spinning the Boulder shooting as an opportunity to end the filibuster in the Senate to pass gun control legislation. (The day of the Boulder shooting, CNN also used Democratic legislation on voting and elections to highlight the need for eliminating the filibuster.)
  • The Washington Post highlighted Biden’s remarks, framing the public debate as one in which Republican politicians inflame while Democrats “navigate the issue warily” while noting in separate coverage that with at least one red state Democratic senator opposing House-passed bills, action is unlikely.
  • Newsweek covered a relatively underreported aspect to the story: many left-leaning pundits and journalists declaring the shooter a “white man” before information about the suspect was revealed, which led to his being arrestive alive, “walked out of the building completely unharmed.” (Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa is not white and was injured in a shootout with police.)



  • Washington Examiner’s Eddie Scarry hewed closely to Newsweek’s track, but with far more scorn, pointing to the niece of Vice President Kamala Harris and liberal author Amy Siskind doing a complete 180-degree turn after the name of the suspect had been released.
  • RedState took CNN to task for its efforts to force a narrative about mass shootings but leaving out a rash of shootings in Chicago, in which FORTY people were shot in the city over a single weekend.
  • OANN characterized Biden’s remarks calling on Congress to pass gun control legislation as “exploit[ing] the deadly Colorado shooting”, and including video of testimony at a Senate hearing on gun control focused on protecting Americans’ right to firearms in the Second Amendment.


Return to Freespoke

© Dallas Gerber, 2021