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Michael Medved

Bad ideas more dangerous than deadly weapons

Twelve days before Christmas, 18-year-old Karl Pierson stormed into Colorado’s Arapahoe High School armed with a shotgun, three Molotov cocktails in his backpack and a machete. The senior athlete and competitive debater fired his weapon for 80 seconds, critically wounding a fellow student before turning the gun on himself.

In explaining his murderous rage, several classmates cited the boy’s political radicalism: he identified himself as a “Communist” and once wore a shirt decorated with the letters “U.S.S.R.” This identification with a brutal, mass-murdering regime should have been a warning—school officials surely would have worried over a kid calling himself a Nazi and wearing a swastika shirt.

Press accounts mostly emphasize the weapon he carried, but what made Pierson dangerous wasn’t just the shotgun in his hand but the loathsome ideas in his head.

Michael Medved on AM 770 KTTH

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