One of the most high-profile mass shootings in American history also served as a coming-of-age moment for a new type of gun, The Intercept reports.
Colin Kaepernick, a former NFL quarterback who would eventually become known for his anti-racism and political activism, has spoken out in an open letter about how the 1991 massacre in Stockton, California, affected him.
“It was the first time I truly understood the nuance of this problem,” he wrote. “Until then, I’d made excuses for the intransigence of my opponents. I’d rationalized… I’d had my doubts about any sort of solution to the problem, and much of what I’d heard seemed like ‘hysteria’. But what struck me then was how both sides were really dead-set on doing nothing.
The killing, he notes, has since been defined as a massacre: an accident of life. It was intentional – a murder-suicide carried out by a young man in a violent rage.
But it struck Kaepernick the same way.
“On the other side of that young man’s room was a package in his closet,” he wrote. “The smell of gunpowder.
“The fact that his mother opened the door moments before. The weight of hundreds of rounds. The sound of a father’s murder. The shadow of other men’s graves.”