Karl Pierson (courtesy cnn.com)

School shooter Karl Pierson purchased an as-yet-unidentified 12-gauge pump action shotgun at an as-yet-unidentified Denver-area gun store on Dec. 6, and bought ammunition Thursday, Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson told the media. Pierson turned 18 on Sept. 3, making the purchase legal. Colorado gun law does not require a permit to purchase a rifle or shotgun. The gun does not have to be registered with the state. There is no indication that the attack will spur changes in the law. Yet.

(Post was updated to remove an erroneous statement that a background check was not required.)

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99 Responses to Arapahoe School Shooter Purchased 12-Gauge Legally

  1. 18, probably no chance to get a real criminal or mental health record under his belt and he probably would have passed a background check anyways.

  2. The kid looks like he was a snotty little shit to me. I wish he would have just offed himself and cut out shooting everyone in between.

      • I’ve wondered about that myself. He was on the debate team, and had an issue with his debate coach. Given the strong socialist leanings of the shooter, he may very well have been trying to make a political statement.

        • You guys bring up good points that have crossed my mind as well. He seems like he was smart enough to plan around the date of his attack. He undoubtedly knew of Columbine and Sandy Hook and how an attack of the same sort time when his was would help further his beliefs. And if he happened to kill a teacher he hated as well, two birds with one stone and all that.

        • “Given the strong socialist leanings of the shooter, he may very well have been trying to make a political statement.”

          I suspect he has been trying to make “political statements” in his debates and the debate teacher he was gunning for had tried to convince him to give it up since it he was either not very effective at making his points or he was an idiot for trying, given the history of socialism. It is much more likely he had a personal issue with the teacher than that he thought he could make any significant political statement by this act.

          And it does seem that all through history when socialism as an argument fails the socialists ALWAYS resort to violence, doesn’t it?

      • That’s not really a conspiracy theory- it would be if the idea was that some shadowy group had put him up to it. The way you said, it actually makes a fair amount of sense.

        • Shotgun – $200 to $500
          AR15 – $700 to $2000

          Average hourly wage of an 18 year old – $7.25 to $8.50/hr

          Could have been a political statement, could have been plain revenge. No matter the motive, I’ll bet money played a part in his purchase.

  3. It says “no permit”, that doesn’t mean that he didn’t go through NICS. If he bought it at a gun store, as claimed, he had to have been given NICS, but again, he had no record so big deal.

  4. So let’s get this straight…

    He passed a NICS check
    He used a shotgun
    He did not have a “high capacity ammunition feeding device”
    He was an outspoken member of the political left

    Obviously the only solution to stop these things are…

    Universal background checks
    Assault weapons bans
    Magazine limits
    Mainstream media blaming conservatives

    Oh yeah, and registration. If he would have registered that shotgun, he would not have used it in a suicide attack.

    Yep, that sounds like a well thought out plan.

    • That term “affluenza”, but even more so the circumstances resulting in its use, pisses me off to no end. We just had a punk 16 get off this week in Texas with probation for driving an F-350 truck with a BAC of .24 and killing four people on the side of the road. And yes, as you might furiously imagine, the little darling has a storied history of run-ins of various kinds. “Affluenza” is nothing that 20 years hard time in a Texas prison wouldn’t cure. Instead, this charming character gets to spend a little time in a comfy, cozy, local private psychotherapy facility. Whether it’s people killed on the side of the road or slaughtered in the schoolhouse, we need to quit making excuses for lunatics and start holding them accountable; the sooner the better.

      • But wait, there’s more! The rehab facility Ethan Couch will spend a little time in is a $450,000/year rehab spa in Newport Beach, CA. Another paper reports that the judge recently sentenced a 14-year-old black kid to 10 years in prison when the person he punched died. 4 dead versus 1. A long history of run-ins versus few.

        Back to Pierson: What is it about “progressive politics teaches its adherents that life is unfair and rage is a normal reaction” that people don’t understand? It’s time we separated the behavioral artifacts of serious mental illness from those which result from being taught “it’s fine to fly into a rage, or seek violent vengeance, because life appears unfair.”

        I personally see the phenomena as the “guy with the white hat wins” cowboy shootout theme stood on its head: Instead of winning against the outlaw, they imagine themselves as taking up arms to win against those they considered politically incorrect, the new black hats. From Whitman to Colombine to Lochner to Holmes to Lanza to…Pierson, the mass shootings are the venting of progressive/left rage by young men. Surprise, they are caught in an irreconcilable set of beliefs: They believe that leftist policies would make life fairer, while slowly coming to realize that their leftist brethren, role models, seem to be screwing them over….and they can’t see which of the two beliefs is foolish. So …Gun. Or molotov cocktail. Or whatever.

        • Interesting points; my take on the underlying psychosis of these people is they are full of self-hatred; and they act out that self-hatred in their homicidal rage at themselves by murdering their fellow human beings and then what do they do? They murder themselves by committing suicide.

          What is the origin of this rage? I believe it is the forced continuation of childhood as an adult that this culture encourages. In hunter gatherer societies; there is a right of passage around the time of puberty that both boys and girls go through that is the symbolic door way to break the bonds of dependence that children have towards their parents, in this ceremony; a child becomes an adult with all of an adults responsibilities. Marriage, children, supporting a family, being a warrior for protecting their people. etc.

          I believe much of the teenage angst is based on this genetic knowing that their enforced childhood late into their teen years is a violation of their humanity as free human beings. Out of this feeling of violation of their soul and spirit; they subconsciously blame themselves for this enslavement; hate themselves for this disempowerment and in the end; strike out in this feeling of impotent rage at themselves by violently striking out at the culture that has enslaved them.

          This explains much of the behavior of the statists and their worshipers. The placing of the state as their surrogate parents; the child like belief that a sign on the side of a building has the power to keep a homicidal maniac from entering that building; the belief that if they just give their “parents”, the state, more power and control over them. that finally! they’ll be safe from the monsters under the bed.

          The Nanny State; nurturing dependence, disempowerment and ultimately enslavement, for all.

  5. I am assuming had he NOT used a Gun he would have used the TWO MOLITOV COCTAILS he had to commit the crime…
    Make it illegal for an 18 year old to purchase GAS

    • I read that he did light one and throw it in the school library.

      Here’s my question – The school apparently had LEO’s on site and the Sheriff feels that the quick response of a good guy with a gun prompted the shooter to give up relatively quickly and kill himself. I’ll buy that – but why can someone walk into a school – ANY SCHOOL – openly carrying a shotgun and Molotov Cocktails in the first place?

      At the very least, why wasn’t there a presentable door with a decent lock that would withstand a few rounds and buy some time? It’s not like these shooters are tactical geniuses. They are exploiting obvious weaknesses that have existed in schools for decades and that should have been fixed after the rash of school shootings in the 90’s.

      • Every school I attended consists of multiple buildings with classroom doors and glass windows opening to outdoor areas. At most, there is a chain link fence around the school property. Once you’re in the parking lot or anywhere else on school grounds, you have unfettered access to all classrooms, libraries, cafeterias, etc.. There is no way to “secure” those schools, apart from [maybe] erecting very tall walls around the buildings.

    • Not to mention, making a molotov cocktail is illegal unless you register it with the NFA Branch as a title ii weapon. I guess this guy was not up on NFA law. If he was, the fact he could have been sent to prison for 10 years on tax evasion, and paid $100,000 in fines he would have rethought his actions before committing suicide.

      #sarcasm

  6. The only solution is for the NSA to monitor everyone a little more. If allowed the NSA could prevent this type of tragedy.
    Also eighteen year olds haven’t had enough time to commit criminal activity. This is why 21 should be the earliest age that anyone should be allowed the purchase a gun. At 21 years of age the criminally minded have had time to obtain a prohibiting offense.

    • I’ve got a damn good trolldar from years and years wasted on the internet, and I can still never tell whether you’re being sarcastic and you’re really as uber-pro 2A as you claim or playing at some sophisticated parody of what antis think we are. Should I be mildly impressed or throw rocks at the thing lurking under the bridge?

      • lol that’s because he seems to equate any restrictions on guns as akin to being put in the gas chambers… messes up trolldar.

    • Why not increase the minimum voting age to 21 then? By that time a person might just have pulled their head far enough out of their ass to get a peek at the real world.
      While we’re at it lets make 21 the minimum age for a drivers license, enlistment into the armed forces, get a hunting/fishing permit, or even have a job of any kind. Let us keep breeding people without rights or responsibilities so they have no interest in either when they come of age. \sarc
      I believe that an 18yr old who can vote and enlist in the armed forces should be able to legally drink a beer with their old man, and to legally carry a concealed weapon for self defense. If you are old (brave) enough to die for this country, you deserve every one of your rights within its borders.

      • I am compelled to agree. Either make it a uniform requirement of 21 OR 18, but make up their minds either way. I personally think we should stick with 18, even though the vast majority of 18 to 21 year olds vote liberal, which is foolishly misguided IMO. But there’s no doubt that more and more people are failing to grow up in a timely manner, and particularly so as regards moral standards.

        Tom

    • The majority of gun-related homicides are committed by urban gang members. (80%), Urban gang members tend to be between 12 and 21 years old. (How many survive past that, or are not in prison?) The majority of gang-related homicides both the victim and the shooter have previous criminal history with law enforcement and/or the judicial system.

      Your theory does not hold water, Leonard. Also, what is the magic that prevents someone from buying a gun on their 21st birthday and going mass-shooter crazy the next day, but the same could not happen at 18 years old? You cannot background check mental stability because it is unstable, and unpredictable. Some here would even believe that you would fail such a check. Some would accuse me of the same thing. Arbitrary age limitations or mental health checks cannot prevent people from doing evil or insane things. The good guy with a gun seems to have worked reasonably well, perhaps we should focus our attention on something that seems to have a chance of working?

      And I am not entirely certain that your post was not missing the /sarc notification.

  7. I see a growing pattern in these school shootings. Harsh as it seems, there’s only one real solution. Ban young white guys. It’s for the children.

    • There’s something there. Just as we may blame the parents in a gang shooting for screwing up or not raising their kids right, there’s something wrong here.

      • I have (a little bit of) sympathy for parents of gangsters since it is a very real possibility that if they try too hard to control their kid his gangster friends will just drive by and kill them. Makes it hard to conceive of an effect disciplinary program.

        Affluent, Progressive parents, on the other hand…what is their excuse?

  8. This was just an attempted murder that took place in a school, not a “school shooting” in the usual sense. I don’t know we’re giving this so much attention

    • I have no doubt a stern letter was sent home to his parents about it. The school was probably scared to do any more since they did not want to be sued.

      I work in the public schools and let me tell you, sometimes it feels like the inmates are running the asylum.

    • If anyone were to do a proper investigation it would not surprise me to find out that his beef with the librarian was a refusal to carry “The Communist Manifesto” on the stacks, or something similar.

  9. Karl Pierson- The poster boy for Liberal/ progressives.

    I’m coming to see that when some one self-identifies as a liberal/progressive/ socialist/communist;(they all believe in state control; just different variations) they are identifying themselves with mass murderers; psychopaths, dictators, tyrants, boot licking sycophants, the emotionally immature and those that are delusional and in denial.

    The final refuge of those that want to control and abuse others or to be controlled and abused.

    They are a symptom of the sickness of our souls and our spirit as a country and a people. They are a gift and a graphic warning of what happens when a person lives by the laws of man instead of the laws of G-d.

    • Yeah, about half the country and the majority of young people want to be Stalin.

      Keep it up… keep demonizing the other side, and keep refusing to understand how you keep losing political power…

      • It isn’t demonizing;it’s simple truth; show me where I’m wrong when I say the greatest mass murderers(Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Pol Pit weren’t Communists, Socialists or Marxist.

        Show me where most of the single mass murderers in this country haven’t been mostly left leaning. Show me where it’s not mostly Liberal/ progressives that support the murder of unborn children; then I’ll admit I’m wrong.

  10. What difference would a permit have made? What difference would it have made if that firearm had been registered with God Himself?

    Why infer that brand of lies?

  11. It’s that darned “gun show loophole”. You know, where criminals descend on gun shows to illegally obtain their weapons.

    Oh, wait…

    • Again, what difference would that have made? How many states do require some kind of special permit to purchase a firearm? Maybe two???? I’m guessing NY and CA.

      Do permits and driver’s licenses prevent traffic accidents and DUIs?

        • Can you name them?

          Waiting periods…no difference there either. Dude was punted from the debate team in September. There was about a week’s wait from the time he purchased the shotgun v. the time he purchased the ammo.

          Waiting periods…more pablum. More BS.

        • Can you name them?

          Presuming that’s asking about permits/licenses to purchase and/or possess firearms, Wikipedia (yeah, I know, but at least the relevant statutes are listed) says the following states require permits, licenses, or other “certificates” to purchase firearms:

          California (safety certificate required for handguns)
          Connecticut
          District of Columbia
          Hawaii
          Illinois
          Iowa (“permit to acquire” for handguns, concealed carry permit works)
          Maryland (handguns)
          Massachusetts
          Minnesota (handguns and “assault weapons” when bought from FFL)
          Nebraska (handgun purchase permit, concealed carry permit works)
          New Jersey
          New York (handguns in entire state, all firearms in NYC)
          North Carolina (handguns, concealed carry permit works)
          Rhode Island (safety certificate for handguns)

          That’s “quite a few more” than just two.

      • Uh I didn’t say it would. I only said that because the way the article reads it sounds like a permit is required for handguns.

        • Yes, it was a poorly written article. A permit for either a handgun or a long gun is NOT required in CO and never has been. Of course, the Amerikan Soviets will change that if we let them.

  12. The gun does not have to be registered with the state.

    Well, not explicitly. However, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (the “point of contact” for FFLs when they request a background check for a firearm transfer), unlike the feds, is not required to purge the records of the background check request. The state can (and probably does) have a record of every approved firearm-related background check.

  13. Another liberal, anti-2Aer going violent, having no respect for the sanctity of life, ALL life (ie. the life of those we disagree with as well as those we agree with), and that isn’t making the head lines….

    • Why would it? People kill people all the time. I haven’t heard about the political views of the Sandyhook shooter. Lots of conservative people seem to have a hard-on for this kid because he made some typical young liberal statements as if it means anything.

  14. The last couple of mass shooters have all been outspoken advocates of gun control and NRA haters. The ex LAPD officers manifesto pointed to his love of gun control and its proponents like Sen. Frankenstein, Piers Morgan, NYC Mayor Bloomberg, ….. They are the first to chose the gun they don’t want anybody else to have, when they want to commit murder.

  15. Based on reportage I just read online, it looks like Karl Pierson was not mentally ill, but just a kid who made some seriously bad choices in failing to deal with Life’s setbacks. Hope the young lady he shot recovers, but she will probably never recover fully from that kind of wound. Very sad all around. Very sad.

  16. “Can you name them?”

    “”Presuming that’s asking about permits/licenses to purchase and/or possess firearms, Wikipedia (yeah, I know, but at least the relevant statutes are listed) says the following states require permits, licenses, or other “certificates” to purchase firearms:

    California (safety certificate required for handguns)
    Connecticut
    District of Columbia
    Hawaii
    Illinois
    Iowa (“permit to acquire” for handguns, concealed carry permit works)
    Maryland (handguns)
    Massachusetts
    Minnesota (handguns and “assault weapons” when bought from FFL)
    Nebraska (handgun purchase permit, concealed carry permit works)
    New Jersey
    New York (handguns in entire state, all firearms in NYC)
    North Carolina (handguns, concealed carry permit works)
    Rhode Island (safety certificate for handguns)

    That’s “quite a few more” than just two.””

    That sure is more than two! And so if Colorado would just adopt all those state’s laws, we’d be sooo much safer! Yeah.

    • I certainly wouldn’t suggest that those states’ laws should be adopted by any other states (especially Colorado), or that those laws do anything to make anyone safer. I was merely pointing out that 25% of the states, plus D.C., do require some form of license / permit / whatever before you can purchase a handgun, and in some cases a long gun.

      I was surprised by the results of those 3 minutes of research. I never would’ve guessed that Nebraska or North Carolina would require some kind of “permit” before a resident can purchase a revolver.

      • On that we agree.
        The bottom line is that when someone makes the decision to kill someone, no amount of registering, waiting periods, permits, checks, etc. is EVER going to stop them.

        It seems to me, excluding you Don S, that there are a few here that seemingly tout those “solutions”. I don’t get that. Unless of course they are Leftist trolls….

  17. Why would Colorado adopt a permit process for purchasing rifles and shotguns after what just happened with the recalled legislators and the third one resigning? Here in New York, home of Cuomo’s SAFE Act, even that doesn’t require a permit to purchase a rifle or shotgun.

    • “I am just curious why so many of these wackos are in DENVER. Is there something in the water?”

      There…fixed it for you.

  18. Jefferson County (Columbine High School, 04/1999), Aurora (Cinemark theater, 07/2012), and Centennial (Arapahoe High School, 12/2013) are not in Denver.

    Those cities/communities are nearby, but they’re no more in Denver than Anaheim, Huntington Beach, or Thousand Oaks are in Los Angeles, Oakland or San Mateo are in San Francisco, etc.

    • Well…lets pick a nit or two….shall we? With the exception of the Batman shooter, they occurred within Denver County. Batman shooter did his evil just outside of Denver County, but basically a stone’s throw from the county line.

      For the most part, with the exception of some nit pickers, folks in CO understand that the Denver Metro area is commonly called “Denver”.

      Kinda like the Dallas Cowboys play in Arlington, Texas and Headquarter in Irving, Texas – they are still considered “Dallas”….as in the Dallas Metro Area.

      • With the exception of the Batman shooter, they occurred within Denver County

        A couple of other exceptions:
        Columbine High School is in Jefferson County.
        Arapahoe High School is in Arapahoe County.

      • As far as it being nit-picking…

        In my years of living in the area, I haven’t yet met anyone who says they live “in Denver” when they in fact live in a surrounding city, county, or community.

        I live in northern Douglas County and can see the Denver Tech Center (much of which is outside the City and County of Denver) from my driveway. I don’t tell people I live in Denver. If someone asks me where I live, I tell them. If they’re unfamiliar with Colorado, I might give a rough geographic relation to Denver and/or Colorado Springs. If they’re familiar with the area, I give other cities and never mention Denver at all.

        My brother lives in Thornton (Adams County), geographically closer to Denver than my home. I’ve never heard him say that he lives “in Denver”.

        It’s not so much nit-picking as accuracy. Also, some of us in the area really don’t want to be associated with the s**thole that is Denver.

        • I too live in Colorado. My original comment about the water in Denver was not directed at you but was meant for folks living outside of Colorado. Funny how you dont want to be associated with the shithole Denver, but you do want the shooter(s) to be associated with Colorado. Odd, but there ya have it. Carry on.

        • I wish the various shooters, especially the most recent one, were merely associated with Denver instead of surrounding areas or Colorado as a whole. Unfortunately, the AHS shooter lived in Highlands Ranch, in Douglas County – a little too close to home. Sucks, but there it is.

          If they were all from Denver, I’d like to blame it on water from South Boulder Creek 🙂

        • It’s clear that you are not familiar with Douglas County. Except, perhaps, for a few misguided souls who really don’t belong in our county, we don’t consider it “nit-picking” to point out that we are not Denver.

        • Pointing out that none of these 3 shootings actually happened in Denver is, somehow, tarnishing and trashing the whole state of Colorado? Strange…

        • The part where a location two counties away (AHS shooter’s residence) is somehow included, the part where the actual boundaries of the “Denver Metro Area” are not defined, and the part where [allegedly included] areas are demographically, economically, and politically the polar opposites of “Denver”.

        • Again: where do you get “trashing the state”?

          I pointed out that the events did not occur in Denver and that at least one of the shooters lived two counties away from Denver. That doesn’t say, explicitly or implicitly, anything about Colorado as a whole.

          If I mention Deer Trail’s proposed “drone hunting licenses”, that doesn’t say anything about Glenwood Springs or about the state of Colorado. So how do Jefferson County and Arapahoe County, when differentiated from the City and County of Denver, “trash” all of Colorado?

        • Dude, here is the original post that I responded to:

          “TheBear says:

          December 15, 2013 at 17:36

          I am just curious why so many of these wackos are in Colorado. Is there something in the water?”

          Where was your indignance then? Oh thats right…..there wasn’t any. Until I posted.

          Take a powder nitpicker.

        • I wasn’t indignant then – because what TheBear posted was not inaccurate. I didn’t post corrections until people started providing false information. You know, silly things like “with the exception of the Batman shooter, they occurred within Denver County“. Wow.

  19. Wow. I’m 55 and just bought my first gun a week ago. A Mossberg 500 American field model shotgun. I had to go through a background check (no big deal) here in N.Y. I have no problem going through the BATFA form, hell it took ME all of 3-4 minutes. The background check was not an issue to me. This kid obviously had issues. Maybe lousy parenting issues too.

    I feel bad for the poor girl that is now in a coma and IF she makes it will be severely disfigured for life. I feel bad for the other kid injured.

    BUT, it’s NOT the shotgun’s fault. It’s a sick PERSON PROBLEM. We need to keep pounding that into people’s heads. Guns alone are harmless.

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