By Jeff Todd
DENVER (CBS4) – Bryce Carter has almost become desensitized to the sound of gunfire in his community, almost.
“It’s sad to get to the point where gun violence like this is something that I just accept, and I accept that it’s a reality whether it’s outside our front door or at the work place or my school, which I guess I covered the trifecta there,” Carter said.
On Sunday morning, Carter and his wife awoke to the sound of gunfire near their house. They went to see if they could help, and officers told them to return home; shots were fired again. A Denver Police Officer was injured.
Carter was a freshman at Virginia Tech in 2007 when 32 people were killed. He moved to Denver and was working at the Alliance Center when a gunman entered the building and killed his wife in 2016.
“Honestly there’s just a sadness,” Carter said about the multiple episodes he’s witnessed. “There’s the instinctual fear that comes with it. I’ve dealt with PTSD in the aftermath of some of these situations. But at the same time, I’m just kind of sad because I believe gun violence is a symptom of greater problems when it comes to mental health. And some of the tensions we have in our society.”
Carter is first to admit he doesn’t have answers to a complex issue, but mental health issues have been a thread in all of the incidents he’s been a part of.
“When I hear these shots. It’s just someone that is using these weapons as tools to express themselves when they haven’t been given support to communicate otherwise or support their own needs,” Carter said.
He’s witnessed terrible events, but he’d like to see more solutions being discussed and more support for people affected by mental health issues.
“What goes through my mind is we have a choice as a society of how do we want to deal with these things. I think gun control and that sort of stuff is just dealing with some symptoms of a bigger problem which is how do we support our neighbors? How do we support those in need?”
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.