Portrait of the Arapahoe High School Shooter
From all media accounts, Karl Pierson was an exceptionally bright, intelligent student, an Eagle Scout who excelled in debate. In fact, debate was his life, and at 18-years-old, that’s a big deal to be so dedicated, almost to the point or at the point of obsession, even if it is academic.
Pierson’s friends have identified him as argumentative and difficult, someone who always had to be right, even over petty things. So maybe, just maybe, it shouldn’t come as such a surprise that Pierson retaliated with violence after being kicked off the debate team, which figuratively ended his life.
Think of it this way: We’ve all met those people in life who just have to be right; no matter what, once an idea is formed inside their head, they will defend it until the day they die. This was Pierson.
And, to take it a step further, debate was literally Pierson’s life, as he thought; yet, it was taken away from him by Tracy Murphy, the school librarian and head of the speech and debate team at Arapahoe High School, the one who expelled him from the team. Take all this and the fact that Pierson couldn’t argue his way back onto the team, and you have a situation that could lead to disastrous revenge.
In one minute and 20 seconds, a total of 80 seconds, Pierson took matters into his own hands.
According to Sheriff Robinson of Arapahoe County, he entered his high school with his pump-action shotgun, firing one shot into the hallway while asking other students where to find Murphy. Pierson then shot Claire Davis, a student who was studying in the library, at point-blank range in the head, before continuing down the hallway. After firing another shot into the hallway, Pierson entered the library, lit a Molotov cocktail, starting a fire in the school’s library. Pierson ran to the back corner of the library and used the 5th round from his shotgun to end his own life, once he knew law enforcement officers were near.
Sheriff Robinson made it perfectly clear that after Saturday, December 14th, he will no longer say the shooter’s name.
“I am no longer inclined nor will I speak his name in public. He is someone who victimized an innocent young lady by an act of evil. And, in my opinion, he deserves no notoriety and certainly no celebrity,” said Robinson.
I respect and agree with the sheriff that Pierson should not be made into a celebrity, but maybe he should be spoken of more; analyze his behavior, his emotions, etc. so that students like this have more of a chance to be identified before a tragedy of this magnitude happens again.
But for me, it all goes back to security, how did Pierson walk into a main entrance of his high school with his loaded shot gun in the first place? That makes no sense to me!
And, for my readers who are heavy proponents for the ownership of guns or for those who are anti-guns, in the state of Colorado anyone of 18 years of old, or older, can buy and legally possess a shotgun. So, I pose the question, should US gun laws be stricter? Or, do we keep defending our 2nd Amendment right?
Posted by Ginger Hill on Dec 16, 2013