Today, the entire city of Denver and surrounding suburbs have canceled school. Why? Due to a credible threat of violence by—as far as the public knows—one young lady.
Florida teenager, Sol Pais, flew to Denver and purchased a shotgun. She is 18 years old and within 24 hours was able to procure a fire arm. While Denver hunting is nothing new, cyber flags were raised on this young lady when it was discovered she had an infatuation with the infamous Columbine school shooting and this weekend marks the 20 year anniversary (More information HERE).
While it is unclear her target, her personal journals and internet postings point to a possible reenactment somewhere in the Denver area. In anticipation for the worst, tens of thousands of children are home from school today. “The Miami office of the FBI first identified a possible threat involving Pais on the morning of April 16, authorities alleged. What appears to really have escalated things, for obvious reasons: Authorities say that Sol Pais took the step of flying to the Denver area, where she bought a gun.”
As a mother, the horror we have witnessed in the past strikes a spark deep in our chests. This spark is ignited by the strongest emotions of fear, anger, love and the rawest primal urge to rip this threat apart with our bare hands.
As a veteran, I struggle with the memory of war and the fear of such destruction following me home. I set boundaries for myself to prevent from becoming hyper-vigilant and obsessively “preparing” for the worst. These boundaries include NOT getting a concealed carry license, even though if anyone knew what to do in such a situation to warrant one, it would be me.
I know my way around guns. I can shoot nearly any weapon system you place in my hands; my personal favorite being a mounted grenade launcher. I am far more accurate with an M5 assault rifle than a hand gun any day.
But guess what… I do not need this type of weapon at home. No one needs this type of weapon at home. No one needs to purchase a weapon within 24 hours of landing in the state. Or within 24 hours of applying to purchase any weapon.
Imagine Sol Pais showing up the next day to pick up her fire arm, after being thoroughly investigated for 24 hours. FBI and police officials would already have this girl in custody.
Instead, we wait. We wait and see if we are more patient than she is. Will classes resume tomorrow? For some schools? All?
If my children are not safe in their schools today, are they any other day? This thought I have to shove to the back. This thought threatens to cripple me as a mother and an active member of society. It is not with blind trust that I send my kids off every school day. I know my community, their teachers and school staff. I know the officer who makes rounds to ensure their safety. I know they practice, and I can only pray my kiddos, being so little, understand the dire need of cooperation and following directions exactly.
The need for such drills makes me sad. The real threat of having to use these drills, sets me on fire.
I stand in solidarity with every parent in the Denver Metro and surrounding areas to as we wait. We pray and envision the successful control of this specific situation, and be thankful it was identified in advance.
Here is a photo of Sol Pais who is considered armed and dangerous. “Please call the FBI tipline at (303) 630-6227 where your call will be answered immediately if you have seen this individual or have information on her whereabouts. Please do not approach her as she is considered armed and dangerous,” wrote the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department.