About eight miles from Columbine, a bright, well-spoken, young debate student walked into his school openly displaying a shotgun and asked for his debate instructor by name. When the instructor got word of the student’s obviously hostile intentions, he exited the school. The boy then shot at some students, wounding two before he took his own life—the only casualty in the shooting.
The student, identified as Karl Pierson, was apparently reeling from the fact that he had not qualified for the debate Nationals, and he wanted to unleash his disappointment on his debate instructor. At least, that is the narrative gaining currency right now. But there are a few puzzling elements to this story.
First, according to the Denver Post, Karl Pierson was well-known in his school and neighborhood as “a dedicated, bright student from a religious family that attends Bible study meetings.” This is misleading of course. The headline for the article cites that the gunman “held strong political beliefs.” Juxtaposed with the remarks about his “religious” upbringing, one would automatically assume he was a gun-toting, far-right conservative extremist. He wasn’t.
Karl Pierson was an extremist, but it turns out he was a far-left extremist. He vehemently ridiculed conservatives at every turn, criticized free market economics, labelled himself as “Keynesian,” and even criticized Republicans for their stance on “gun violence.”
So why would a would-be debater who leaned far left in politics and by all accounts supported strict gun control measures bring a Biden-approved shotgun to his school near the anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting?
Read that last sentence again and put the pieces together for yourself. Is it really that opaque? It’s pretty clear to me that Karl Pierson took the route most liberals take in their war on the Second Amendment. They can’t win through debate—statistics, history, and logic are not on their side. So, failing to qualify through argumentation, they resort to manipulation, informal fallacy, emotional appeals, and blunt force.
I think he brought a shotgun to school right when everyone’s mind was focused on gun violence in order to further emphasize his beliefs on gun control: “Do you see what happens when guns, even shotguns, are not strictly regulated? More school shootings, that’s what!” He knew he would lose his life in the process, but perhaps he felt like that was worth it.
The mainstream media is trying very hard to slant this one. They can’t let any crisis go to waste. When it becomes even more abundantly clear that Karl Pierson’s “strong political beliefs” were leftist, the media will go silent on it more than likely. But we should not. It is likely that leftists are staging these shootings to gain political leverage. Highly likely.