North Carolina LGBTQ lawyers respond to Colorado club shooting | Club Q mass shooting

As Colorado detectives learn more about Saturday night’s Club Q shooting, members of the LGBTQ community are sharing their reactions.

“I was just shocked and saddened but while we’re here I just have to say I can’t believe it’s still happening and I’m not really surprised anymore either,” said J. Clapp, executive director of the LGBTQ center from Durham.

Five people were killed and 25 others injured in the attack, which was stopped by guests who stormed out to the gunman, identified by police as 22-year-old Anderson Aldrich.

“More and more information is coming to light every day. With the previous bomb threat the individual has voiced. His ability to evade Colorado’s Red Flag law,” said Fred Burton, executive director of the Ontic Center for Protective Intelligence .

Burton is referring to Aldrich’s arrest in 2021, after he allegedly made a bomb threat. However, officials told ABC News that the case appears not to have gone to trial, meaning the arrest may not have appeared on his background check.

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The attack is the latest mass shooting in the United States as venues work to protect guests and staff.

“You can deploy armed or unarmed security guards, you can sometimes hire officers or troopers for events, etc. But for the most part, that can be prohibitively expensive for a small business owner,” he said. Burton.

He stressed the importance of staying aware of your surroundings and having an exit strategy, especially in crowded areas.

“When you walk into a venue, whether it’s a closed bar or an event, think about your escape methods, God forbid if there’s an incident, or a fire or alarm going off. Know how to get out, not necessarily the way you actually got in. Take a look around the venue to see how you would come out, and as soon as you think something isn’t right, leave,” Burton said.

Burton encouraged people to speak out if they see or hear threats.

“These are tough, tough decisions to make. Say something, because the system is geared for intervention. The system is focused on mitigation,” Burton said.

J. Clapp, who also performs in drag shows, said they are focusing security measures on de-escalation and intervention.

“It’s scary to have friends who have been protested by Proud Boys, friends whose entire performance has been canceled because someone was yelling vitriol from the audience,” said J. Clapp.

They believe negative attention to drag events has escalated in recent years, which they attribute to reactionary politics.

“I know things have changed. And I’m not saying I’m going to stop living my life to the fullest, but I’m aware of what’s going on around me,” said J. Clapp.

Despite the rhetoric, J. Clapp discussed the value of visibility, especially for young people. A 2019 report from The Trevor Project found that “LGBTQ youth who report having at least one accepting adult were 40% less likely to report a suicide attempt in the past year.”

“There’s a lot of work to be done, I know that in this country. And I know this has to stop. But right now, we’re going to keep showing up because there are people whose lives will be saved by seeing us exist.” , by knowing that there is still good in the world. So we have to keep going,” said J. Clapp.

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