Sikhs on the Western Slope react with sadness to the shooting in Wisconsin on Sunday which left seven dead, including the gunman.
While authorities work to piece together the exact motives of the shooter, incidents like Sunday's shooting as well as the Aurora theater shooting leave many wondering about their own safety in public places.
"This is a wake-up call. These are kind of crazy times," said Ram Dahn Sing Khalsa, a Sikh living in Grand Junction. He calls the Wisconsin shooting sad and says it shows the lack of respect and compassion of many.
"They were in their temple," Khalsa said, "you would think your place of worship is a safe, secure place."
Born in the U.S. Khalsa converted to Sikhism a few decades ago. He worries that Sikhs are mistakenly targeted because of their appearance; that they get generalized with other cultures and religions from the Middle East and Asia.
"I don't have this perspective that I'm a foreigner or I'm from a foreign culture, but what I am is a guy who is dressed up and practices a religion that's kind of foreign to the culture I grew up in."
Khalsa and his family are just a few of the only Sikhs on the Western Slope and without an organized presence here, he worships from home. For those that do gather to worship, he says you have to be read.
"I think they need to prepare a safe environment for them to bring their families and worship. There are a number of churches in this town that have security guards on them."
In fact, one of the Grand Valley's largest churches, Victory Life does employ security.
"You have to be ready," said Bud Frisch, Victory Life's head of security. "You don't want to be caught unawares."
He says that they stay organized and keep their eyes open at all times, which is important in a church that houses 700-800 people.
"In this day's world," Frisch explains, "the way things are going, you never know. You could have the nicest place around and there's some idiot running around trying to hurt someone."
Many churches that we contacted in the valley actually do have security, whether private or in-house. Several even mentioned that members of their respective congregations are known to have their concealed-carry licenses.
It seems that most are taking these types of tragedy very seriously, even in the relative calm of the Western Slope.