After 10 Days—What we Know About the Club Q Shooting in Colorado Springs

If you haven't heard, a mentally damaged, evil man entered a Colorado Springs night club and indiscriminate fired rounds from his rifle at people inside. Unarmed citizens inside the club stopped the murderer by physically overpowering him and beating him until the police arrived. In the end, 5 people died, 19 people suffered physical injury and many, many more suffered emotional trauma from this horrible act committed by an evil and deranged man.

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As usual, people immediately jumped in to assume the killer's motivation, blame whole swaths of Americans for the acts of a lunatic, and to use the incident to propose less or more gun control laws. In keeping with our internal policy, we waited to comment on the recent Colorado Springs Club Q shooting. Our police is:

Concealed Carry INC. Policy of Reporting on Mass Shootings—

…to wait at least 72 hours before reporting our opinions…

There are 3 basic reasons for our decision.

  1. We will not sensationalize the coverage of a tragic event for monetary gain. This is clearly unethical.
  2. Immediately seeing these incidents as an opportunity to pursue a political advantage overlooks the humanity of the people involved. While we understand there are obvious political implications pulled from these incidents, we want to honor the victims by having a 72 ‘blackout' period. When appropriate, we can begin focusing on how gun laws or lack thereof impacted the event.
  3. Initial reports are not always accurate. We feel we can only truly understand what happened if we use validated reports. It does no good to perpetuate rumors or base an analysis on inaccurate information.

It's been 10 days since the shooting, and we now know more about what happened and the people involved than we did before. Time and the criminal trial will uncover even more about this incident. Whether that information makes it to the public, I don't know. It is difficult to put much trust in the accuracy of any news report, but here is what I've gathered from many news sources.

Club Q screen shot from Google Maps.

Shooter has a troubled past—

Fathers have an incredible amount of power, and how they use that power has an incredible impact on their child's development. In a post from The Guardian it's said the shooter's father, Aaron Brink, was abusive and condoned violence as a method for ‘getting results'.

Brink, a mixed martial arts coach, told CBS8 that he had taught his child to fight, saying he had offered praise “for violent behavior really early. I told him it works. It is instant and you’ll get immediate results.” – The Guardian

The LA Times reports that Brink has a criminal history that includes drug charges, and he performed in adult films. The killer's mother, Laura Vopel, divorced Brinx a year after the suspect's birth. Vopel had full custodial rights of the couple's son, however she had issues of her own. Vopel and her son moved around the country and, at times, Vopel's mother took responsibility for raising the boy. The killer's mother also had a criminal history of her own, as she served 5 years on probation for a criminal mischief conviction.

About six years ago, the shooter changed his name legally. Sometimes people change their name to try to start again, or distance themselves from a troubled past.

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Last year, the killer threatened to kill his mother using firearms and explosives. The threat resulted in a SWAT stand-off and the future killer's eventual surrender to police. Prosecutors dropped charges in this incident and we don't know more about the specifics as the court sealed the records. The implications of this incident will come up again below, when we discuss how the killer got his firearms.

In bringing up the murderer's crappy parents, I am not excusing his actions. I bring it up only as a reminder to fathers that no matter what kind of dad you had, choose to end generational sin, step up and be the father your children so desperately need. Here are some statistics from the website, The Fatherless Generation.

The Killer's motivation—

The popular narrative is that the killer targeted Club Q because he hated sexual deviants, and Club Q is a known gay club. This hatred turned to action because of the voicing of conservative and religious objections to the apparent sexualization of children. The overwhelming majority of articles present this picture. This LA Times post is just one of those. The police charged the shooter with ‘hate crimes' which seems to bolster this position, but that isn't a jump anyone should make. Here is why.

According to the killer's attorneys, the shooter ‘identifies as non-binary‘ and uses the pronouns ‘they/them' and uses the title Mx. instead of Mr. Reports say the killer is only saying he is non-binary to avoid a ‘hate crime' charge. It doesn't make sense that he is claiming to have gender dysphoria simply as a legal maneuver. The murder charges come with far more punishment than any hate crime designation. Furthermore, prosecutors could still get a hate crime conviction, even if the killer is of the same group he targeted.

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I bring this up only to remind us that history shows us we must be very careful in blindly accepting the media's reporting immediately following one of these incidents. Not only do they get often get it wrong, but many times purposefully so. I could speculate on the killer's motivation, but I don't think it's productive for this conversation.

How did the killer get his guns—

As mentioned, the police arrested the killer about a year ago when he made criminal threats to kill his mother. The killer legally owned firearms, so while he never acted, he could carry out his threats. We mentioned prosecutors dropped charges, but why? I don't know the reason, but threats toward family members often get dropped because the victims reconsider once they are safe and they realize the legal implications. An uncooperative victim can complicate getting a conviction, and prosecutors don't like to lose cases.

The criminal justice system has long struggled with the concept of forcing a victim to cooperate with the legal process. We see this play out in many domestic violence cases. An abused spouse may want to drop the charges, however, the state can move forward with charges despite an uncooperative victim. It seems reasonable until the prosecutor has a victim that perjures themselves on the stand. Without evidence, it becomes a case of the word of the police versus the words of the victim.

Colorado has restrictive gun laws, including red flag laws. A conviction from the criminal threats arrest would most certainly have prohibited him from purchasing or possessing firearms. Colorado's red flag law doesn't require a conviction for police to take custody of one's firearms. And even in states without red flag laws, police have the ability to take firearms from people who pose an objective risk to themselves or others.

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This isn't to say the killer could not have done what he did if the police took his firearms. Just that if the goal is ‘to keep guns out of the hands of unstable and evil people, there are already many laws that provide a path for police to do this.

A report from 9News states that the rifle and handgun the killer possessed had no serial numbers. I've read some reports that attempt to confuse the public and suggest that the killer circumvented Colorado gun law by making his firearms. From what we know at this point, this is false.

It is still perfectly legal for Americans who are not prohibited otherwise, to make their own firearms for personal use. The killer didn't need to manufacture his firearms, he could have legally passed a background check and purchased it just like anyone else.

Citizen intervention is the difference—

Media and anti gun politicians and influencers continue to gaslight the public to believe that it's a myth that citizens carrying firearms stop crimes and save lives. We conducted research back in 2017 which determined that concealed carriers are successful in 95% of active shooter events. I am currently compiling data from 2017 to now. I can't wait to formalize the findings because the numbers are shocking!

A concealed carrier did not stop the Club Q shooter, but unarmed citizens did. One of the men who acted, previously served in the Army, and gave an interview to reporters in the video below.

It's a dangerous lie that people are helpless and must rely on the government to provide their safety. Had these men not intervened with physical force, and followed the “run, hide, fight” prescription, more people would certainly be dead. It's impossible to nail down the exact number of times people use guns to defend life. But it was only in 2019 that USA Today said this:

But as much as the USA TODAY Editorial Board wants to discount the idea of the “good guy with a gun,” let’s not forget that almost 90% of police agree that mass shootings would be “reduced” or “avoided altogether” by the presence of legally armed citizens.

What can we do to stop this from happening—

It seems like when this question comes up, the solution always focuses on restricting access to guns. I may have an unpopular opinion. I don't believe we can ever stop all pain, suffering, or evil in this world. Legislation can't achieve peace and security, and this premise hijacks the conversation and thwarts any meaningful solutions.

There were enough laws on the books for police to legally to disarm the shooter prior to the shooting. That doesn't guarantee he could not have still carried out the attack, but more laws are not the solution.

So if I don't think more gun laws are the answer, what do I propose?

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As long as people continue to believe guns are the real problem, things will get worse. Blaming guns, and by extension, gun owners pits people against each other. People on both sides argue over whose position is right, when the fact is the vast majority of gun owners and non gun owners will kill no one. Who murders? Pro gun, anti-gun, right-wing, left-wing, Democrat, Republican, men, women, children, adults etc. The commonality is that murders don't value human life.

Perhaps seeing people as people, and not just different colored flesh bags filled with political ideologies, would lead to more compassion and kindness. Maybe some people who feel marginalized would choose a different path than crime, drugs desperation, crime, violence, etc.

These stories are tragic and absolutely horrible. But consider that even worse is that most people will live and die, never knowing the peace of God; then face an eternity separated from God. The good news is that even though we all live in a world filled with evil, injustice and death, God offers eternal life in His presence through Jesus Christ. There is a light that overcomes the darkness, in whose presence there is no more death, mourning, or crying or pain. He is the path to true peace, and it's available to whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord.

About Matthew Maruster

I follow my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who is the eternal co-equal Son of God. I currently live in Columbus, Ohio with my wife and daughter. I served in the Marine Corps Infantry. I was a Staff Sergeant and served as a Platoon Sergeant during combat in Iraq. After I was a police officer at a municipal agency in San Diego County. I have a Bachelors's Degree in Criminal Justice from National University. MJ Maruster Defense.


  1. Matt Stone on December 5, 2022 at 3:48 am

    Thank you for your thoughtful review of the Club Q incident. Unfortunately the media typically want to “explain” the shooting in terms of political hate, sexual identity hate, and gun violence. It is not that easy to look into another man’s heart to make those assessments. I agree with your assessment when you pointed out all these shooting incidents involve devaluing another persons life. We need to discuss that change in our society. Thank you for your clear presentation of how the love of Jesus is the answer. We as christians should all be this bold in sharing His life changing love. Well done!

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