I was a bit late to the Boom Days parade. Shortly after I got there, marshals in black coats walked down Harrison Avenue, shooting loud blanks from old-time pistols and a shotgun. The pretty little girl in a princess costume who’d been collecting candy and gold beads and giving them away cried out and ran to her mother, who hugged and comforted her. “It’s OK, they aren’t real,” explained the mom.

I thought, “This child has seen school shootings and maybe the Las Vegas massacre on TV. Probably kids all over the country are frightened by gunshots, fake or real.”

It turns out that parts of Texas are in the same time zone as Leadville. A few minutes before or after our little girl wept and pressed her face into her mother’s legs because the booming guns scared her to death, 20 people were killed in an El Paso shopping mall by a young man wielding an AK-47-style rifle.

Something to think about.

Vicki Lindner

Leadville and Denver

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