All of a sudden, the left-wing media doesn’t think the political views of a crazed gunman are worth discussing. Under the media rules of engagement set forth after the Tucson shooting in 2011, we should be having a huge national conversation about the Left-Wing Climate of Hate right now, and asking how the bitter personal attacks favored by leftists – who are currently fond of asserting that anyone who disagrees with President Barack Obama is a subhuman racist monster – drove student Karl Pierson, 18, of Colorado to attack the Arapahoe High School, critically injuring a fellow student before killing himself. Every American should be asking how Pierson’s devotion to socialism and communism led him to violence. MSNBC hosts should be flogging themselves live on the air for their role in creating the Climate of Hate that led to this outburst of youthful violence, citing their own words from 2011 to explain why they must be held to account.
Of course, instead of putting Pierson’s outspoken political views in the headlines – as they most assuredly would, if it was even remotely possible to link him to conservative causes or the Tea Party – the media is burying this aspect of the story, and rather swiftly losing interest in talking about Pierson at all. The Denver Post actually stealth-edited their story to quietly remove the word “socialist,” changing this sentence:
Thomas Conrad, who had an economics class with the gunman, described him as a very opinionated Socialist.
… to read as follows:
Thomas Conrad, who had an economics class with Pierson, described him as very opinionated.
The headline to the Denver Post article declares, “Arapaho High Gunman Held Strong Political Beliefs, Classmates Said.” Not until the end of the story do you get any idea as to what those beliefs might have been:
In one Facebook post, Pierson attacks the philosophies of economist Adam Smith, who through his invisible-hand theory pushed the notion that the free market was self-regulating. In another post, he describes himself as “Keynesian.”
“I was wondering to all the neoclassicals and neoliberals, why isn’t the market correcting itself?” he wrote. “If the invisible hand is so strong, shouldn’t it be able to overpower regulations?”
Wow, that’s some scintillating, hard-hitting logic right there. The Invisible Hand can’t “overpower regulations,” because the regulators have guns, kid. But the Invisible Hand most certainly can play merry hell with the big plans of regulators, as anyone following the collapse of ObamaCare should understand by now.
Pierson also appears to mock Republicans on another Facebook post, writing “you republicans are so cute” and posting an image that reads: “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 Wall Street Journal adds a fellow student’s recollection that Pierson “once wore a shirt emblazoned with the letters U.S.S.R. and described himself as a communist.” I wonder if we’ll learn which faculty members took Pierson under their wings and nourished his dreary closed-minded liberal views. We’ve heard quite a few stories lately from across the nation about left-wing teachers using their classrooms as captive audiences for political diatribes that sounded quite a bit like young Mr. Pierson’s views.
Somehow the school’s debate coach and librarian, Tracy Murphy, decided the debate team could do without this sharp and insightful political analysis, and gave Pierson a demotion. This led Pierson to “half-jokingly threaten to kill Mr. Murphy,” according to a teammate quoted by the New York Daily News. This led to Pierson’s temporary suspension from the debate team (but apparently not from the school, as early reports had it.) He evidently thought the suspension would interfere with his plans to go to the Air Force Academy, so he wound up marching into the school with a shotgun, a machete, and some Molotov cocktails – sounds like his studies of Communism were quite thorough – screaming Murphy’s name. Murphy has been praised for attempting to lead the gunman out of the school and away from endangered students, but alas Pierson still shot a randomly-selected girl in the face before turning the gun on himself.
The gun angle is powerfully inconvenient for the Left, too. The Denver Post coyly relates a student saying Pierson “had very strong beliefs about gun laws and stuff,” but doesn’t bother to inform readers of what those strong beliefs might have been. It falls to the UK Daily Mail to tell us that he “seemingly supported gun control.” It doesn’t seem like it would be that difficult to find out exactly where he stood on the issue, seeing as how he was so outspoken, and his stance on gun legislation was so strong. The fact that no media outlets seem interested in clarifying the matter speaks volumes.
As for the gun Pierson used in the assault, it was a shotgun – the preferred weapon of Vice President Joe Biden, who has often gone on the record with his support for the legal purchase of such firearms for use in self defense. Next to hunting rifles, shotguns are the weapons gun-control enthusiasts most commonly promise they will never, ever, ever try to take away. Pierson bought his shotgun legally, although of course he was violating all sorts of laws by bringing it to the school and employing it during an assault. Colorado passed a boatload of new gun control laws earlier this year, following the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, leading to political upheaval that resulted in the successful recall of two state lawmakers who favored stricter gun control measures. There is absolutely nothing in the Arapahoe High School shooting for gun control zealots to work with.
On the contrary, the incident demolishes some of their cherished beliefs, most obviously their talismanic faith in the power of regulations to suppress this type of violence. Given his political activism, it seems likely that Karl Pierson was well aware of the local gun laws, but those laws did not dissuade him from going on a rampage. According to CNN, what ended his rampage in just 80 seconds, preventing him from dealing far more injury and death, was one of the measures strongly endorsed by the National Rifle Association: an armed adult on school grounds.
In less than 80 seconds, Karl Pierson “fired one random shot down a hallway,” then entered an area where 17-year-old Claire Esther Davis was seated with a friend, “and shot the female victim point-blank” in the head. “There was no time for the victim to run from the shooter,” Robinson told reporters on Saturday.
Pierson then fired another round down a hallway, then entered the library, where he fired again and ignited one of the Molotov cocktails, according to Robinson.
That ignited at least three bookshelves, causing smoke to pour into the library.
He then fired a fifth round and ran to the library’s back corner, “and there took his own life.”
By 12:35 p.m., it was all over.
It takes CNN ten more paragraphs before they get around to telling you why the attack ended so suddenly, despite Pierson’s use of the fire bomb to set the stage for more chaos and death:
The rampage might have resulted in many more casualties had it not been for the quick response of a deputy sheriff who was working as a school resource officer at the school, [Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson] Robinson said.
Once he learned of the threat, he ran — accompanied by an unarmed school security officer and two administrators — from the cafeteria to the library, Robinson said. “It’s a fairly long hallway, but the deputy sheriff got there very quickly.”
The deputy was yelling for people to get down and identified himself as a county deputy sheriff, Robinson said. “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.”
He praised the deputy’s response as “a critical element to the shooter’s decision” to kill himself, and lauded his response to hearing gunshots. “He went to the thunder,” he said. “He heard the noise of gunshot and, when many would run away from it, he ran toward it to make other people safe.”
The NRA was torn to shreds for suggesting that armed police officers, armed teachers, and similar security measures were the most effective way to reduce the threat of school violence, because “gun-free zones” are always going to be a magnet for deranged individuals seeking high-profile soft targets, obviously even more so when the shooter is a a student at the school in question.
You can dig up any liberal “Climate of Hate” screed written in the aftermath of the Tucson shooting and plug in Pierson’s left-wing activism, instead of whatever garbage they were spewing about Sarah Palin’s campaign map bullseye symbols or Rush Limbaugh’s anti-authoritarian rhetoric. Not a single author of those screeds could possibly defend themselves today from the scurrilous charges they were so quick to lob back then, when they saw an opportunity to use horrific tragedy as a club to beat their opponents into silence. Why don’t we bring Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik in as a consultant on the Arapahoe case, and invite him to adapt his theories about how right-wing talk radio drove Tucson shooter Jared Loughner to murder – even though he never listened to it – into a broad indictment of the mainstream Left for their complicity in Karl Pierson’s crime?
What the Left did after Tucson was nauseating. Of course, it would be equally irrational and dishonest to pretend that honest liberals are even slightly responsible for Karl Pierson’s actions. But we should remember what so many liberals and top media figures said back then, and make sure they understand how easy it would be to turn their twisted, hateful, totalitarian thinking against them now.
And we should be quick to notice how very different the media treatment of politicized crime becomes, the instant it becomes clear that the shooter isn’t a conservative. The hunt for the elusive Tea Party Killer continues, and one of these days he’ll most likely turn up, human nature being what it is. When he does, you may rest assured his political leanings will scream in boldfaced type from every headline in the country, and will be explored in the first few paragraphs of every story written about him.
Prayers for Claire Davis, the 17-year-old student Pierson shot at point-blank range, and who remains stable but comatose at the time of this writing. She’s fighting for her life; her father told CNN that “doctors are worried about swelling to her brain.” A Twitter hashtag, #prayforclaire, has been established to gather best wishes for her recovery.
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