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LGBTQ+ CLUB SHOOTING IN COLORADO AND AUSTRALIAN MP UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR COMMENT

November 17-23, 2022 | Issue 25 - Extremism

Lydia Baccino, Andreea Troneci, Katie Hammond, Extremism Team

Michael Grimaldi, Editor; Salomon Montaguth, Senior Editor


LGBTQ+ Flag[1]


Date: November 20, 2022

Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

Parties involved: Club Q; LGBTQ+ community; Anderson Lee Aldrich; Colorado Police; LGBTQ+ nightclub owners; local community; law enforcement agencies; Democrats; Congress; USA

The event: A shooting occurred at Club Q, an LGBTQ+ nightclub, where at least five people died and 18 were injured. This shooting is the latest in the rise of attacks aimed at the LGBTQ+ community within the US. The shooting occurred right before the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which is observed annually on November 20 to commemorate those who lost their lives due to anti-transgender violence. The perpetrator, Aldrich, was arrested and taken into custody shortly after the police arrived at the scene.[2]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The attack was likely influenced by the significance of November 20, likely targeting the LGBTQ+ community and the remembrance of those who died as a result of transphobia. It will very likely make radicalized members feel vindicated, likely increasing imitative violence and hate crimes in North America during LGBTQ+ awareness dates, such as Pride Month 2023. There is a roughly even chance that the heightened violence will contribute to society’s proscriptions about accepted forms of gender and sexuality while leaving them more vulnerable and marginalized. This will likely lead to increased rates of bullying, harassment, and suicide among LGBTQ+ community members.

  • Law enforcement agencies will likely increase their presence in the area, likely increasing local feelings of safety. This and the perpetrator’s timely arrest will very likely generate more support from the local community for the Colorado Police. This is unlikely to be enough to reduce anti-transgender violence, especially if there is a lack of security levels at LGBTQ+ nightclubs. LGBTQ+ nightclub owners will very likely increase security measures by expanding video surveillance and organizing additional safety training for employees.

  • The victims of this and other shooting attacks, along with their families, will very likely start protesting for federal gun control. Democrats will very likely support them by advocating for stricter gun laws in Congress. They will also very likely use this event to persuade Congress to pass the Equality Act, which would ban discrimination based on sexuality and gender. As a result, there is a roughly even chance that right-wing demonstrations pushing anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-gun control claims will increase.


Date: November 20, 2022

Location: Victoria, Australia

Parties involved: Catherine Cumming MP; Australian government; Victorian Legislative Council (Victorian Upper House); Premier Daniel Andrews; Angry Victorians Party (AVP); AVP supporters; Australian police; protestors

The event: Catherine Cumming, a member of AVP, is under investigation from police for inciting behavior following her statement that, “Daniel Andrews should be turned into ‘red mist,’” which is military slang for a sniper’s bullet hitting an individual’s head. This statement was made during an anti-lockdown rally in the lead-up to this week’s state election.[3] The Angry Victorians Party states on its website that they are a political party that aims to change anger into tangible and achievable action to achieve real and lasting change while looking to bring transparency to the public office. It is not mentioned what the statement means by “turning anger into achievable action.”[4]

Analysis & Implications:

  • Cumming’s comment will likely be interpreted as an invitation to use violence since there is apparent encouragement from an MP. Supporters will likely be drawn to it which will very likely attract attention and encourage actionable change. Cumming’s “red mist” comment will very likely be exploited by anti-government groups and/or individuals discouraged by the Labor “red shirts” scandal and lockdown protocols to organize protests or plan targeted attacks. Those individuals who have been incentivized by the Labor “red shirts” scandal and Cumming’s comments will likely choose members of governments as targets.

  • AVP supporters will very likely disseminate anti-government rhetoric on social media, very likely pushing individuals to commit violence. Statements and language that encourage anger or violence are almost certainly difficult to monitor and control since attribution and anonymity issues are rampant online. Cumming’s political opponents will very likely denounce AVP supporters if they execute violence and they will likely use social media to gain leverage and supporters against Cumming and the AVP. This will likely encourage increased political debate, more violent online rhetoric, and physical harm to prominent local or national government figures.

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[1]Pride Flag LGBTQ+ by RawPixel licensed under Creative Commons

[2]Two patrons confronted a man who opened fire at an LGBTQ club in Colorado Springs, NPR, November 2022, https://www.npr.org/2022/11/20/1138045219/colorado-springs-shooting-lgbtq-club-q-5-dead

[3]Police investigate Victorian MP over Daniel Andrews ‘red mist’ comments at rally, The Sydney Herald, November 2022, https://www.smh.com.au/national/victoria/police-investigate-victorian-mp-over-daniel-andrews-red-mist-comments-at-freedom-rally-20221119-p5bzmx.html

[4]Turning Anger into Action and Action into Change, Australian Values, November 2022, https://australianvalues.org.au/angryvictorians

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