When Karl Pierson entered Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado, last Friday wearing a black face mask, a black hoodie, and carrying a shotgun over his shoulder, he briefly appeared to present another opportunity for the media to promote its anti-gun agenda. Within 80 seconds Pierson proved them wrong, and the media frenzy never materialized.
Intent on creating mayhem as revenge for being dropped from the debate team, Pierson entered the building seeking his debate club coach. During his search Pierson fired five rounds, one of them hitting and seriously wounding a student bystander, Claire Davis, who remains in a coma at a local hospital. When confronted by an armed Arapaho County sheriff’s deputy, Pierson took his own life, ending the attack.
As CNN noted, Pierson was not associated even remotely with the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, or any small-government, pro-free-market conservative organization. Instead, he was a self-described communist who once wore a shirt to class emblazoned with the letters USSR and who had railed against Republicans on his Facebook page saying “You Republicans are so cute” and then posting an image which read:
The Republican Party: Health Care: Let ‘em Die; Climate Change: Let ‘em Die; Gun Violence: Let ‘em Die; Women’s Rights: Let ‘em Die; More War: Let ‘em Die.
Is this really the side you want to be on?
The nascent shooting spree ended abruptly, as Arapaho County Sheriff Grayson Robinson explained:
[Pierson’s] intent was evil, and his evil intent was to harm multiple individuals....
We know for a fact that the shooter knew that the deputy was in the immediate area and, while the deputy was containing the shooter, the shooter took his own life.
This confirmed the point made by Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association (NRA) at a press conference just a week following the Newton, Connecticut shooting:
The only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
Would you rather have your 911 call bring a good guy with a gun from a mile away ... or a minute away?
Of course, the media has excoriated the NRA endlessly for making such a suggestion.
The Denver Post tried to hide Pierson’s radical proclivities by revising its report of the shooting. In its initial iteration, the Post included this sentence:
Thomas Conrad, who had an economics class with the gunman, described him as a very opinionated Socialist.
But a decision was made by the Post’s Senior Editor Lee Ann Colacioppo that this was a bit too obvious, and changed it — without noting the change — to read:
Thomas Conrad, who had an economics class with Pierson, described him as very opinionated.
Not only did this revision change the entire meaning, it also enraged Tom Blumer at News Busters, who reported the change along with Colacioppo’s “copout” response when she was challenged over it:
Wait until you see the lame, condescending attempt at a defense offered by ... Colacioppo in a tweeted response to a reader’s challenge on Saturday afternoon.
Tweeter: Since you’re an editor at DP, what’s the explanation for this?
Colacioppo: We decided not to have another student apply a label to the shooter — a label the student likely didn't even understand.
As Victor Keith, a writer at American Thinker, noted,
If Pierson had been an evangelical Christian or free-market and small-government advocate, we all know that such would be the lead headline in every story about him....
But since he was a socialist who hated Republicans, that little tidbit will be buried at the end of any article, if it is mentioned at all.
In sum, then, the shooter held liberal Socialist views, obtained his weapon legally, passed the requisite background check that the media thinks will keep shooters such as Pierson off the streets and away from “gun free zones” like the one at Arapahoe High, failed in his mission to pile up a huge body count for the media to weep over, and ended his life when confronted with armed resistance, thus validating the NRA's position.
As John Hayward at Human Events said, “There is absolutely nothing in the Arapahoe High School shooting for gun control zealots to work with.”
So the Arapahoe High shooting will disappear down the media memory hole since it failed in every regard and by every measure to conform to the mainstream media’s worldview and requirements for the story to be boosted into headlines around the country and the world.
Photo of crime scene in front of Arapahoe High School: AP Images
A graduate of Cornell University and a former investment advisor, Bob is a regular contributor to The New American magazine and blogs frequently at www.LightFromTheRight.com, primarily on economics and politics. He can be reached at