The southeastern Colorado Springs neighborhood is known to the federal government as Census Tract 54.00, one of 1,249 geographically distinct districts in the state. And during the 12 years bookended by the mass shooting tragedies of Columbine and Aurora, 24 residents of Census Tract 54.00 died of gunshot wounds, an I-News at Rocky Mountain PBS analysis of health and census data found.
That’s more gun death victims during that span than in any other census district in Colorado. There were 12 homicides and 12 suicides, according to state health department records.
Denver had two census tract neighborhoods, both in Montbello, with an equal number of gun homicides and Grand Junction had three tracts with more gun suicides.
In Colorado, as elsewhere, the debate roils over gun laws, fueled by mass shootings so indiscriminate they have come to define random violence in America, so ubiquitous they have come to be known by a single name. Columbine. Virginia Tech. Aurora. Newtown. But the truth is the horrific events of Columbine and Aurora represent a tiny fraction of what is, week-in and week-out in Colorado, an unremitting loss of life involving guns: 6,258 deaths during the 12 years from 2000 through 2011, more than three-quarters of them suicides, about one in five homicides.
That’s 10 gun deaths a week – every week – during that span. The I-News narrative report, Colorado’s Deadliest Neighborhood, can be found here.