Leigh Paterson | KERA News

Leigh Paterson

Email: lpaterson@insideenergy.org; leighpaterson@rmpbs.org

Leigh Paterson was raised in New Jersey, graduated from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, and then taught English at a culinary high school in France. Leigh then got her Master's in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, and then moved to Washington D.C. in 2009. After spending two years as a producer at CanadianTV's Washington bureau, Leigh left to freelance. Since then, as a one woman show, she has reported for TV and radio from across the country for BBC News, BBC World Service, PRI's the World, ABC-Univision, Agence France Presse, and CBC News.

Helen H. Richardson / The Denver Post / via Getty Images

The nation was shocked on April 20, 1999, when 12 students and one teacher were killed in a mass shooting at Columbine High School outside of Denver, Colorado.

In the 20 years since, through other prominent school shootings from Sandy Hook to Parkland and an ongoing rise in U.S. shooting deaths, Columbine has loomed large in our politics, policy and culture.

Judy Amabile believes that if Colorado enacts an Extreme Risk Protection Order bill, it could help prevent her son from buying a gun.
Leigh Paterson, KUNC

Judy Amabile has a crumpled sleeping bag laid out on the porch of her bright, beautiful home in downtown Boulder, Colorado.

"My son isn't supposed to come in the house when he's been drinking. That's why we have this sleeping bag out here," she explained. "Anybody else would look at that and think uh, what? But for us it's like…That’s life."

Surrounded by law enforcement, district attorneys, and advocates, Colorado lawmakers unveiled a bill on Monday that would allow guns to be temporarily taken away from someone who is a significant risk to themselves or to others.

For decades massive, open-pit coal mines have been feeding the country's appetite for energy. Once coal companies are done with the land, they're supposed to restore it. But as America's coal industry declines, it may not have the funding to keep its cleanup promises.