Saturday, December 14, 2013

When are political views relevant in a mass shooting?

The Denver Post has a story about the Arapahoe High School shooter that reveals what appear pretty clearly to be left-of-center political beliefs:
Arapahoe High gunman held strong political beliefs, classmates said - The Denver Post: "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?""
But other news stories do not mention his political beliefs (and here) or refer to them only vaguely, as in this NBC story:

Abbey Skoda, a junior, told The Denver Post: "He had very strong beliefs about gun laws and stuff. I also heard he was bullied a lot."
Of course, these stories all mention the altercation that he apparently had with the debate coach or a school librarian and that may well have been the main motive. But if he had been a rabid Republican can we really believe that his radical and combatively held views would not have been the subject of more discussion?

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