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Arapahoe High gunman held strong political beliefs, classmates saidBy Zahira Torres and Yesenia Robles

The Denver Post

Posted: 12/13/2013 06:27:21 PM MST58 comments

Read more: Arapahoe High gunman held strong political beliefs, classmates said - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_24721367/arapahoe-high-gunman-held-strong-political-beliefs-classmates#ixzz2nSAAREAo

The teenage gunman who entered Arapahoe High School on Friday afternoon and shot two fellow students with a shotgun was outspoken about politics, was a gifted debater and might have been bullied for his beliefs, according to students who knew him.

Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson identified the gunman as Karl Pierson, an 18-year-old student.

"He had very strong beliefs about gun laws and stuff," said junior Abbey Skoda, who was in a class with Pierson during her freshman year. "I also heard he was bullied a lot."

Robinson said that his department was investigating reports that Pierson was seeking to settle a score with a teacher after a confrontation.

20131213_092551_KarlPierson_200.jpg
Karl Pierson (via Karl Pierson's facebook profile)

Even before authorities named the gunman, friends and neighbors were in shock as word spread that Pierson was a dedicated, bright student from a religious family that attends Bible study meetings.

"They're just a normal middle-class family, like many of the families around here," said neighbor Diane Shea.

On Friday night, neighbors huddled in the quiet Highlands Ranch neighborhood adorned with holiday lights to console one another.

Neighbors and students remembered Pierson as a track athlete and a member of the Arapahoe speech-and-debate team whose mother worked for the Douglas County School District.

In April, Pierson placed third in national extemporaneous speaking at the National Qualifying Tournament held at Cherry Creek High School, earning him a spot in the national tournament in June.

After the June competition, he wrote on Facebook: "Hey guys! I just got back from day 2 of nationals and I'm sorry to say I am not moving on, nor am I in the top 60 in the country. Thank you from everyone for your support, and have a great rest of the summer and hope we can send some more guys to nationals in Kansas next year!"

Jo VanDeWege, who has lived across the street from the family for five years, described Pierson's mother as outgoing and said the family was "very nice, very kind."

Pierson's parents divorced in late 2011, according to court records. The divorce was finalized in August 2012.

Thomas Conrad, who had an economics class with Pierson, described him as very opinionated.

"He was exuberant, I guess," Conrad said. "A lot of people picked on him, but it didn't seem to bother him."

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?"

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?"

Carl Schmidt and Brendon Mendelson, both seniors at Arapahoe High, knew Pierson. They said he had political views that were "outside the mainstream," but they did not elaborate.

Schmidt said the shooter "was an outspoken kid about what he believed and a good political thinker."

Mendelson added, "He did have a lot of friends. He was popular with the people he knew."

Staff writers Sadie Gurman, Kevin Simpson and Kurtis Lee contributed to this story.

Zahira Torres: ztorres@ denverpost.com or 303-954-1244

If more citizens were armed, criminals would think twice about attacking them, Detroit Police Chief James Craig

Florida currently has more concealed-carry permit holders than any other state, with 1,269,021 issued as of May 14, 2014

The liberal elite ... know that the people simply cannot be trusted; that they are incapable of just and fair self-government; that left to their own devices, their society will be racist, sexist, homophobic, and inequitable -- and the liberal elite know how to fix things. They are going to help us live the good and just life, even if they have to lie to us and force us to do it. And they detest those who stand in their way."
- A Nation Of Cowards, by Jeffrey R. Snyder

Tavis Smiley: 'Black People Will Have Lost Ground in Every Single Economic Indicator' Under Obama

white-privilege.jpg?resize=318%2C318

Democrats>Socialists>Communists - Same goals, different speeds.

#DeplorableLivesMatter

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Arapahoe High gunman held strong political beliefs, classmates saidBy Zahira Torres and Yesenia Robles

The Denver Post

Posted: 12/13/2013 06:27:21 PM MST58 comments

Read more: Arapahoe High gunman held strong political beliefs, classmates said - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_24721367/arapahoe-high-gunman-held-strong-political-beliefs-classmates#ixzz2nSAAREAo

The teenage gunman who entered Arapahoe High School on Friday afternoon and shot two fellow students with a shotgun was outspoken about politics, was a gifted debater and might have been bullied for his beliefs, according to students who knew him.

Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson identified the gunman as Karl Pierson, an 18-year-old student.

"He had very strong beliefs about gun laws and stuff," said junior Abbey Skoda, who was in a class with Pierson during her freshman year. "I also heard he was bullied a lot."

Robinson said that his department was investigating reports that Pierson was seeking to settle a score with a teacher after a confrontation.

20131213_092551_KarlPierson_200.jpg
Karl Pierson (via Karl Pierson's facebook profile)

Even before authorities named the gunman, friends and neighbors were in shock as word spread that Pierson was a dedicated, bright student from a religious family that attends Bible study meetings.

"They're just a normal middle-class family, like many of the families around here," said neighbor Diane Shea.

On Friday night, neighbors huddled in the quiet Highlands Ranch neighborhood adorned with holiday lights to console one another.

Neighbors and students remembered Pierson as a track athlete and a member of the Arapahoe speech-and-debate team whose mother worked for the Douglas County School District.

In April, Pierson placed third in national extemporaneous speaking at the National Qualifying Tournament held at Cherry Creek High School, earning him a spot in the national tournament in June.

After the June competition, he wrote on Facebook: "Hey guys! I just got back from day 2 of nationals and I'm sorry to say I am not moving on, nor am I in the top 60 in the country. Thank you from everyone for your support, and have a great rest of the summer and hope we can send some more guys to nationals in Kansas next year!"

Jo VanDeWege, who has lived across the street from the family for five years, described Pierson's mother as outgoing and said the family was "very nice, very kind."

Pierson's parents divorced in late 2011, according to court records. The divorce was finalized in August 2012.

Thomas Conrad, who had an economics class with Pierson, described him as very opinionated.

"He was exuberant, I guess," Conrad said. "A lot of people picked on him, but it didn't seem to bother him."

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?"

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?"

Carl Schmidt and Brendon Mendelson, both seniors at Arapahoe High, knew Pierson. They said he had political views that were "outside the mainstream," but they did not elaborate.

Schmidt said the shooter "was an outspoken kid about what he believed and a good political thinker."

Mendelson added, "He did have a lot of friends. He was popular with the people he knew."

Staff writers Sadie Gurman, Kevin Simpson and Kurtis Lee contributed to this story.

Zahira Torres: ztorres@ denverpost.com or 303-954-1244

Explains why he took Biden's advice and used a shotgun. It also explains why he perpetrated his crime in a "gun free zone"

Interesting ...when the teacher he was seeking LEFT the "gun free zone" in an attempt to lure him away from the "gun free zone" he instead picked targets that could not possibly defend themselves against his politically correct shotgun...and then blew his own brains out.

Why didn't the school have armed teachers? If he knew his target could be armed, none of this would happen. It would have been another day of "How big is Kim Kardashian's @ss?" Now we will have to wait 2 or 3 days until we find out.

Anyway, we can be sure there will be no new gun laws.

VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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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."

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?"

Another progressive or a child from a progressive household hell bent on a mass shooting spree. Three mass shootings in an area perhaps 15 miles apart ... Why the cluster...all were involved with an attempt to have a bomb that the media ignores for the most part. Will we have to register when we buy gas also now. .....Background checks?,,,, Because of Newtown the population in NY State will next month will have to have a background check to buy ammo.. I understand they also want the serial number and make of the gun when you purchase this ammo......Will buying a gallon of gas for your lawnmower require the same .... Name and serial number of your lawnmower for purchase.

If more citizens were armed, criminals would think twice about attacking them, Detroit Police Chief James Craig

Florida currently has more concealed-carry permit holders than any other state, with 1,269,021 issued as of May 14, 2014

The liberal elite ... know that the people simply cannot be trusted; that they are incapable of just and fair self-government; that left to their own devices, their society will be racist, sexist, homophobic, and inequitable -- and the liberal elite know how to fix things. They are going to help us live the good and just life, even if they have to lie to us and force us to do it. And they detest those who stand in their way."
- A Nation Of Cowards, by Jeffrey R. Snyder

Tavis Smiley: 'Black People Will Have Lost Ground in Every Single Economic Indicator' Under Obama

white-privilege.jpg?resize=318%2C318

Democrats>Socialists>Communists - Same goals, different speeds.

#DeplorableLivesMatter

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Another progressive or a child from a progressive household hell bent on a mass shooting spree. Three mass shootings in an area perhaps 15 miles apart ... Why the cluster...all were involved with an attempt to have a bomb that the media ignores for the most part. Will we have to register when we buy gas also now. .....Background checks?,,,, Because of Newtown the population in NY State will next month will have to have a background check to buy ammo.. I understand they also want the serial number and make of the gun when you purchase this ammo......Will buying a gallon of gas for your lawnmower require the same .... Name and serial number of your lawnmower for purchase.

yes! finally someone gets it..finally someone understands the true path we are all on...get ready folks..serial numbers on hedge trimmers..background checks for a top off.

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Why not? He shot and killed himself. Why would someone elses gun be a deterrent?

Don't be silly, it's a well known fact that concealed carry is enough to stop irrational people committing irrational acts with guns.

Refusing to use the spellchick!

I have put you on ignore. No really, I have, but you are still ruining my enjoyment of this site. .

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Why not? He shot and killed himself. Why would someone elses gun be a deterrent?

I have wondered the same thing but the pattern of these folks targeting with uncanny consistency, the few places where guns are not permitted can't be denied.

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"Those people who will not be governed by God


will be ruled by tyrants."



William Penn

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Why not? He shot and killed himself. Why would someone elses gun be a deterrent?

Very good question. But it always is.

All these shootings have one thing in common...they happened in "gun free zones."

But lets take your suggestion and move on.

How would a gun law inflicting punishment stop someone who is willing to kill themselves? Will he comply with the law so he doesn't go to prison? Ban a particular gun and what? They use a shotgun as recommended by the people suggesting to ban the other guns

Still seems like it is strange that none of these mass shootings occur at gun shows. You can apply all the background checks you want and a person can mail order some ammunition and a few high capacity magazines, walk into a gun show, pick up the appropriate rifle for the magazines that were delivered to his door by FedEx and start shooting. Why do you suppose THAT hasn't happened?

VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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I have wondered the same thing but the pattern of these folks targeting with uncanny consistency, the few places where guns are not permitted can't be denied.

Of course it can be denied when it does not fit a liberal's template.

The same liberal will then suggest that laws banning particular firearms can reduce crimes because the same people who are not afraid to be killed will, for some reason, comply with the law.

what we most often see in these cases is that the perpetrator kills himself when, or after, the opposition (good guys with guns) arrive on the scene. The SOONER good guys with guns arrive, the fewer people get killed.

in Newtown the good guys arrived 26 people too late. In the Navy Yard shootings...12 people too late. what we also see is that in locations where good guys with guns are KNOWN to already be present...this does not happen AT ALL.

In this case...when the TARGET removed himself from the gun free zone to an area where he may well be armed, the perpetrator shot 2 known un-armed people then himself. Clearly he had no desire to enter the "gun zone". Suicide is an act of cowardice. If he enters the "gun zone" he may not be killed, he may be wounded, captured, tried and imprisoned. He doesn't want that.

In a conveniently provided "gun free zone" HE calls the shots, pardon the pun. HE is in control and then HE will be sure to kill himself, eliminating the possibility of arrest, trial and imprisonment.

VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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closed for review

* ~ * Charles * ~ *
 

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.

 

USE THE REPORT BUTTON INSTEAD OF MESSAGING A MODERATOR!

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upon review, 5 posts have been removed for tos violations or for quoting those posts. one member thread banned and additional admin action taken.
thread reopened.

* ~ * Charles * ~ *
 

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.

 

USE THE REPORT BUTTON INSTEAD OF MESSAGING A MODERATOR!

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I have wondered the same thing but the pattern of these folks targeting with uncanny consistency, the few places where guns are not permitted can't be denied.

Yes, but often the shooter's target is a school staff member or fellow student. It follows that the attack would likely take place in a school, irrespective of the gun free zone status.

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Very good question. But it always is.

All these shootings have one thing in common...they happened in "gun free zones."

But lets take your suggestion and move on.

How would a gun law inflicting punishment stop someone who is willing to kill themselves? Will he comply with the law so he doesn't go to prison? Ban a particular gun and what? They use a shotgun as recommended by the people suggesting to ban the other guns

Still seems like it is strange that none of these mass shootings occur at gun shows. You can apply all the background checks you want and a person can mail order some ammunition and a few high capacity magazines, walk into a gun show, pick up the appropriate rifle for the magazines that were delivered to his door by FedEx and start shooting. Why do you suppose THAT hasn't happened?

Good point, but you didn't answer my question.

This guy targeted a member of the school staff. It is unlikely the gun free status was a relevent factor. He went to the school to kill someone who was in the school.

Columbine high school had an armed guard. That wasn't a deterrent.

Edited by Dakine10

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Why the cluster? Granted perhaps this shooting will not be called a "mass shooting" But still ... 3 events within 10-15 miles of one another. All 3 tried to use a device other than a gun to bring about this destruction of human life. The theater shooter did have his room wired. This shooter did bring 2 containers of gas ready to perhaps kill more people. When we talked about Sandy Hook a year ago I mentioned here that Adam could have brought 2 cans of gas stood in the door way and killed perhaps just as many children. I also sad he could have just brought a shot gun instead of the so called AR-15.. 00 buckshot at 20 ft is just as lethal as any .223 ... perhaps more so.. Liberals here laughed at this suggestion. Which is fine, Then came the Boston bombing, The naval yard shooting (shotgun) This shooting ( shotgun and gas)..... To ban the "evil black gun" will do nothing to stop this violence. NY,NJ and Maryland have this past year made a lame attempt to ban the purchase of this type of weapon. You make a criminal of law abiding people ... I have read perhaps the registration rate now required could be less than the registration rate in Canada. maybe 10%.......This law does nothing but deprive people of their 2nd ....... Shotgun with buckshot....... perhaps more than lethal at close range...than the AR..... ....Adam also had one( a shotgun) in his car trunk. How do you stop the crazy people.? IF you cannot get an AR you use a shotgun... No shotgun perhaps a can of gas or home made bomb. This leads me back to the question .... Why this cluster in Colorado?I grant you this person decided to kill perhaps only one other person that morning. when he left home. But then again he also had a few bottles of gas .. the poor mans bomb.

Edited by lostinblue

If more citizens were armed, criminals would think twice about attacking them, Detroit Police Chief James Craig

Florida currently has more concealed-carry permit holders than any other state, with 1,269,021 issued as of May 14, 2014

The liberal elite ... know that the people simply cannot be trusted; that they are incapable of just and fair self-government; that left to their own devices, their society will be racist, sexist, homophobic, and inequitable -- and the liberal elite know how to fix things. They are going to help us live the good and just life, even if they have to lie to us and force us to do it. And they detest those who stand in their way."
- A Nation Of Cowards, by Jeffrey R. Snyder

Tavis Smiley: 'Black People Will Have Lost Ground in Every Single Economic Indicator' Under Obama

white-privilege.jpg?resize=318%2C318

Democrats>Socialists>Communists - Same goals, different speeds.

#DeplorableLivesMatter

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Good point, but you didn't answer my question.

This guy targeted a member of the school staff. It is unlikely the gun free status was a relevent factor. He went to the school to kill someone who was in the school.

Columbine high school had an armed guard. That wasn't a deterrent.

2 bottles of gas with him ,,,, looks like he wanted more than one person to die.

If more citizens were armed, criminals would think twice about attacking them, Detroit Police Chief James Craig

Florida currently has more concealed-carry permit holders than any other state, with 1,269,021 issued as of May 14, 2014

The liberal elite ... know that the people simply cannot be trusted; that they are incapable of just and fair self-government; that left to their own devices, their society will be racist, sexist, homophobic, and inequitable -- and the liberal elite know how to fix things. They are going to help us live the good and just life, even if they have to lie to us and force us to do it. And they detest those who stand in their way."
- A Nation Of Cowards, by Jeffrey R. Snyder

Tavis Smiley: 'Black People Will Have Lost Ground in Every Single Economic Indicator' Under Obama

white-privilege.jpg?resize=318%2C318

Democrats>Socialists>Communists - Same goals, different speeds.

#DeplorableLivesMatter

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