Hickenlooper: New Gun Laws Had No Impact on Arapahoe HS Shooting

December 16, 2013
By
Hickenlooper conceded on the CBS Sunday program that recently approved gun control laws made no difference in the recent Arapahoe HS shooting

Hickenlooper conceded that new gun control laws made no difference in the Arapahoe shooting

CENTENNIAL—Democrats have long insisted the state’s new gun laws were passed to help stop mass shootings, but Gov. John Hickenlooper said Sunday that the measures did nothing to prevent a teen gunman from storming Arapahoe High School.

In an interview on CBS-TV’s “Face the Nation,” the Democratic governor was asked why the laws failed to avert Friday’s shooting at the suburban high school.

“You actually passed some pretty tough gun laws out there in Colorado after those other incidents happened, and yet they continue to happen,” said moderator Bob Schieffer.

Hickenlooper responded that Coloradans “care deeply” about two things: protecting their Second Amendment rights and “making their communities safer.”

“So things like universal background checks, I think they are going to make us safer, but in this specific case aren’t going to make a difference at all,” said Hickenlooper. “And that’s the challenge.”

The three bills were approved in March by a state legislature bitterly divided between Democrats, who pushed the measures in the aftermath of two deadly 2012 mass shootings, and Republicans, who said the laws would do nothing to stop such tragedies while infringing on the rights of gun owners.

The laws, which took effect July 1, mandate background checks on all firearms purchases and transfers; require buyers to pay for their background checks, and restrict ammunition-magazine capacity to 15 rounds.

None of those stopped the Arapahoe gunman, 18-year-old Karl Pierson, whom authorities say bought his shotgun and ammunition legally at a local retail outlet. He also carried a machete and three incendiary devices.

Pierson was the only student who died Friday after turning his gun on himself inside the school after shooting 17-year-old Claire Davis. She remains in a coma and in critical condition at Littleton Adventist Hospital after undergoing surgery.

Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson has described her as an “innocent victim” who was shot at random.

The shooter, a member of the school’s debate team who had been disciplined in September, was searching for the debate coach.

“He didn’t seem to have a mental illness, he had a lot of friends, he was outspoken,” said Hickenlooper, adding, “High school kids all over this city, all over the country have falling-outs with teachers or coaches all the time, they don’t go out and buy a gun and decide they’re going to kill a lot of people.”

What stopped the terrifying incident from turning into a full-blown massacre was the rapid response of law enforcement, particularly the sheriff’s deputy assigned to the school, said Hickenlooper.

“He [Pierson] came into the school prepared to do damage to a lot of people,” said the governor. “[H]aving had these episodes in the past, we do have strategies and protocols in place, where we had a deputy sheriff in the building who immediately ran toward the trouble, toward the problems, and he was there basically in a minute of the first shots.”

“That’s a remarkable response, and I think everybody from the sheriff out here, Grayson Robinson, his entire team–they deserve a lot of credit for what could have been much, much worse,” said the governor.

In the aftermath of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, law-enforcement agencies implemented active-shooter protocols that require officers to “go immediately to the threat and eliminate the threat,” said Robinson.

Officials said Sunday that Arapahoe High School will remain closed this week and will reopen after winter break.

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28 Responses to Hickenlooper: New Gun Laws Had No Impact on Arapahoe HS Shooting

  1. delphinide
    December 16, 2013 at 9:01 am

    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun…unless he turns the gun on himself. As tragic as this event is, be thankful that both of these things occurred.

  2. KeithC
    December 16, 2013 at 10:31 am

    So, to recap, the gun laws that were forced on Colorado and were so counter to our culture that we’ve had the first recalls in our state’s history had no preventative effect on someone inspired to perpetrate a mass shooting – which was the very type of event that ostensibly inspired said laws. And what *did* bring about a swift end was the presence of an armed person challenging the shooter – which is what’s been said by “gun people” from the get-go.

    Got it. Thanks.

  3. 2A Supporter
    December 16, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    ^^^^^^Yeah, what he said!!^^^^^^

  4. squashpup
    December 17, 2013 at 7:24 am

    Hey, Chickenpooper. Your laws were supposed to create a panacea free of active shooter situations. What happened?

    YOU PROMISED US YOU WOULD FIX IT IF WE GAVE UP SOME OF OUR RIGHTS!

    You should call the parents of that girl who got shot and explain to her why you didn’t protect her. You should also call and explain why that librarian was forcibly disarmed. If he had been able to return fire, that girl might not be in the hospital right now!

    YOU FAILED THAT YOUNG LADY, AND SHE WILL LIVE WITH THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR DISHONESTY FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE!

    • cristo
      December 17, 2013 at 8:58 am

      Boy, you hit the nail on the head. The Colorado legislature and the governor failed to protect that young lady. Laws do not protect people from bad men with bullets. Sounds like some resignations are in order.

    • Sharpshooter
      December 19, 2013 at 12:25 am

      “YOU FAILED THAT YOUNG LADY, AND SHE WILL LIVE WITH THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR DISHONESTY FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE!”

      Evie Hudak, call your (former) office!!

    • jeremy
      April 7, 2014 at 9:47 am

      amen

  5. Not so fast my friend
    December 17, 2013 at 8:27 am

    While this article was sanitized for your political edification, here is some things that were left out:

    -another shooting in a “gun free” zone
    -shooter shot himself when he thought he was confronted by someone he thought was armed
    -shooter was a another left wing nut like the other shooters

    Well at least the shooter took Joe Biden’s recommendation and used a shot gun. Hey just like the Navy Yard shooter. Way to go Joe!

  6. MacDaddyWatch
    December 17, 2013 at 9:02 am

    The new laws don’t address the root cause of gun violence–mentally illness. That would be asking far too much of liberal democrats. The laws are nothing but knee-jerk, “See, I really care” laws–PR smoke and mirrors that have nothing to do with the problem.

  7. oatka
    December 17, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Repeated from elsewhere:

    Here is a quick and brief 40-year summary of whack job liberals killing, or trying to kill, innocents with a gun.

    In 1975 a left wing radical Democrat fired shots at Gerald Ford.

    In 1981 a registered Democrat shot and wounded Ronald Reagan.

    In 1984 James Huberty a disgruntled Democrat shot and killed 22 people in a McDonalds restaurant.

    In 1986 Patrick Sherril a disgruntled Democrat shot and killed 15 people in an Oklahoma post office.

    In 1990 James Pough a disgruntled Democrat shot and killed 10 people at a GMAC office.

    In 1991 George Hennard a disgruntled Democrat shot and killed 23 people in a Lubys cafeteria.
    fiveIn 1995 James Daniel Simpson a disgruntled Democrat shot and killed five coworkers in a Texas laboratory.

    In 1999 Larry Asbrook a disgruntled Democrat shot and killed eight people at a church service.

    In 2001 a left wing radical Democrat fired shots at the White House in a failed attempt to kill George W. Bush.

    In 2003 Douglas Williams a disgruntled Democrat shot and killed seven people at a Lockheed Martin plant.

    In 2007 a registered Democrat named Seung – Hui Cho shot and killed 32 people in Virginia Tech .

    In 2011 a mentally ill registered Democrat named Jared Lee Loughner shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. He killed six and wounded 18.

    In 2011 a registered Democrat named James Holmes went into a Colorado movie theater and shot and killed 12 people.

    In 2012 Andrew Engeldinger a disgruntled Democrat shot and killed seven people in Minneapolis.

    On 9/16/2013, another mentally ill liberal, Aaron Alexis, killed 12 people at the Navy Yard in Washington DC.

    Yet the knee-jerk reaction and following articles are filled with innuendo that the shooter was an unbalanced right winger, along with strident calls for “common sense” gun laws. Maybe it’s liberals that ought to be banned.

    • ted.gates
      December 17, 2013 at 4:12 pm

      It appears to me that what we need to stop mass shootings is to control Democrats not guns. Let us get together and vote them out!

    • Sharpshooter
      December 19, 2013 at 12:29 am

      Loughner was not a registered Democrat; he wasn’t registered at all. Yet, the information obtained afterward showed conclusively he was way left of on the reality curve.

  8. Asok Asus
    December 17, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Well, if Colorado had had background checks on Molotov cocktails, that would have stopped it. Right?

  9. JPD
    December 17, 2013 at 11:39 am

    “n the aftermath of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, law-enforcement agencies implemented active-shooter protocols that require officers to “go immediately to the threat and eliminate the threat,” said Robinson.”

    Such a crock!

    For those that want the REAL truth, go to the source. LEO established policies since Columbine ALL start out with the same protocol.

    #1 Officer Safety. This means donning protective clothing, accessing additional firearms, securing the perimeter, waiting for additional officers. In some cases, for the truly enlightened departments, deployment of their Bearcat Assault Vehicle.

    Go ahead, google it. Once you get past the lame gobbledy gook language, it is plain to see. Look at the report and timeline of Sandy Hook. Nuff said.

  10. alanstorm
    December 17, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    “What stopped the terrifying incident from turning into a full-blown massacre was the rapid response of law enforcement, particularly the sheriff’s deputy assigned to the school, said Hickenlooper.”

    IOW, Wayne La Pierre was right about guns in schools, and that the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

    Can you see my “shocked” face?

  11. El Mac
    December 18, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Gov. Hickenlooper, you should resign and try and retain a shred of dignity. As it is, you have none. You deprive your state’s citizens of aspects of basic self defense and admit it did nothing to stop the recent tragedy in Arapahoe.

    You are shameless.

    I hope your days in office are numbered and you will be replaced in the next election.

  12. Sharpshooter
    December 19, 2013 at 12:27 am

    “In the aftermath of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, law-enforcement agencies implemented active-shooter protocols that require officers to “go immediately to the threat and eliminate the threat,” said Robinson.”

    Like generals fighting the last war, it takes a disaster for our elite masters to pull their heads out of their anal cavities….maybe.

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