A Conversation with a Columbine Parent
In the span of my life to date, there have been a lot of things I have been drawn to for one normal or morbid reason or another. Iran, video games, Myanmar, soda and my attempts to invent new flavors within the field, I could go on and on about these fixations and favored past times.
But for your sake, I won’t. Instead I will stick to my newest one, mass shootings, pondering how to prevent them and wondering what becomes of the people afflicted by such hideous tragedies. In the past I’ve written about the Harris Levels and even weighed in on the merits of sharing the video from the news station shooting that occurred last year in Roanoke, Virginia. The one thing I hadn’t done yet however was attempt to interview someone involved in one of these incidents.
So, having tried of the work I was currently doing at my place of employment and wanting to create content that I was proud of again, I took to the web to see who I could end up reaching. Finding people from the Newtown incident was a no-go and Brooks Brown did not respond to my queries, but one person did. Tom Mauser, the father of Columbine Library victim Daniel.
At the present, Mr. Mauser is well known for his gun control activism. Time after unfortunate time, Tom criss-crosses the country in order to reach out to the families of new victims who are created every year and give speeches on the merits of the gun control proposals he advocates for.
What I was not aware of however was that Mr. Mauser maintains a site on the internet that serves as a memorial to his late son. Being the bold type, I sent in a message to the email posted for contact and asked Tom if I could speak to him about his experiences as an individual who was thrust into the national spotlight under the worst of circumstances, much to my surprise he agreed to speak to me via Skype. Who would’ve thought the fellow would be so approachable?
And so we chatted. In the interview posted above you’ll hear his thoughts on the best candidate in the 2016 race on the GOP side who he believes would be the best to tackle the gun violence issue, the debate over whether it is appropriate to even name mass shooters and his thoughts on what his hopes for the future are and how he will continue to honor Daniel going forward.
After speaking with Mr. Mauser, I must admit that I get the sense the man still struggles to deal with what happened to his family. Throughout the interview, one can detect the slightest bits of pain in the man’s voice. I don’t blame him though. Once you lose a spouse or a child, I think you get a free pass on anything you want to do for the rest of your life. Thankfully with his, Tom Mauser has chosen to go out, be bold and try to make a difference for people across America.
I salute you Tom and wish you the best.
If you’d like to know more about the Mauser’s, please visit danielmauser.com