Sol Pais, the FBI and Columbine

Sol Pais, the FBI and Columbine

Sol Pais, the FBI and Columbine

Parents and students in and Littleton, Colorado must feel like they’ve stepped back in time. Yesterday, Columbine  and 21 schools in the area were placed on lock-down after authorities learned of a “credible threat” from 18-year-old Sol Pais. While it is never good to hear someone has issued a threat against our schools, this couldn’t have come at a worse time. This week marks 20 years since the tragedy that cost 13 people their lives and injured another 21 before the two shooters took their own lives. Now those who lived through that time, not to mention the students who have come up through the system since then, have to wonder if a repeat performance is about to take place. Needless to say, the media is playing into their fears with an abandon that should be condemned.

Even before we learned of Sol Pais and the threat she allegedly poses, the media dug deep into its archives to remind us how horrible the Columbine shooting was. The New York Times asks what we’ve learned since that day. You don’t have to read the article to know the answer is “not enough”, not when the article’s sub-title is “A horrifying mass shooting that unfolded onscreen in real time has become a recurring nightmare with a well-worn script.”

It characterizes what happened as a “burst of gun insanity shattered the national psyche.” Guess we know what one of their concerns is going to: not enough gun control.

There was a time when federal lawmakers were sufficiently sickened by the violence to act. In 1994, Congress passed a law banning assault weapons. But that statute expired 10 years later. Since then, the government has done nothing but gladden the N.R.A.’s heart. Federal law now largely protects the firearms industry from lawsuits, though Sandy Hook families are trying to test the extent and depth of that shield. For its part, the United States Supreme Court has strengthened gun owners’ rights under the Second Amendment.”

Thank goodness for the Supreme Court.

The Chicago Tribune got in on the breast beating as well. While pointing out that SCOTUS has strengthened Second Amendment protections, as well as noting all 50 states allow some form of “carry”, the Trib went on to discuss what steps have been taken to protect our students.

At the local level, the response has been to tighten security in schools and improve responses when gunfire erupts. Locked doors and metal detectors are now common. Active shooter drills have become part of the routine on many campuses. Armed police officers are a fixture at most public high schools, and some states have authorized teachers who have undergone training to carry guns.”

Yet, even while admitting steps have been taken, it falls back by telling us that “[i]n the aftermath of Columbine, Americans began searching for ways to protect kids from being riddled with bullets as they attend school. Twenty years later, the answers still elude us.” I don’t know about you, but that seems to be in direct contradiction to what it said above. Of course, it has to keep with the narrative and the narrative is that nothing except taking away our guns will work to keep our children safe.

And this is where Sol Pais comes into the discussion. According to the FBI and Colorado law enforcement officials, Pais represents a credible threat to students and schools in the area.

Pais is considered “armed and extremely dangerous”.  According to officials, she is “infatuated” with the shootings at Columbine and has attempted to purchase (and apparently succeeded) guns.

What is interesting in all this is that authorities have said they don’t have enough probable cause to arrest Pais. But they would “detain” her for a mental health evaluation.  In fact there is a great deal the authorities haven’t said. They haven’t said where Pais came from. All we know is that she traveled recently to Colorado. We don’t know why she is so “infatuated” with what happened 20 years ago. Nor do we know why authorities feel Pais presents a “credible threat” but not in such a way she can be formally charged. One would assume she’d communicated some form of threat against schools in the area. Would that not rise to the level of making a terroristic threat or something similar?

How long before the media starts tying Pais to the two shooters from 20 years ago, using them to advocate for more gun control? The fact the authorities say they will hold her for a mental health evaluation plays into the demand by those who want to limit our Second Amendment rights that all gun owners and want to be owners undergo mental evaluations. They’ll advocate anything that infringes on our right to bear arms, forgetting in the process that those bent on using guns for ill won’t bother with following the law. There is a black market for everything, guns included.

So buckle up and watch as the media uses this latest “threat” to support the narrative that we should ban all assault weapons, extended magazines, etc. Be prepared for vault footage of what happened 20 years ago and interviews with the survivors today. Most of all, be prepared for an increased push against the Second Amendment of Pais does harm anyone before the authorities find her. She will have played into their hands as beautifully as if the role had been written for her.

No one wants another Columbine. But none of us should want the media beating the narrative to the point someone, for whatever reason, decides it’s a good thing to do just that.

Update 2:  (1255 CST) Pais has been found dead of what’s reported to be a self-inflicted gun shot wound. Jefferson County Public School District has said it will resume classes tomorrow with an “increased security presence.”

There are still a number of questions to be answered, including how an out-of-state resident managed to buy a gun in Colorado and why authorities said they didn’t have enough to arrest Pais on. Hopefully, those questions and others won’t be drowned out by the calls for more gun control that are sure to follow.

Update: Since this post was written, Denver area schools have announced they will be closed today. Media outlets are also reporting the Pais traveled to Colorado from Florida. (posted at 0610 CST)

Welcome Instapundit Readers!


Featured Image: Columbine Memorial by Shawn Campbell, Creative Commons 2.0 license.


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  • John C. says:

    “…Federal law now largely protects the firearms industry from lawsuits, though Sandy Hook families are trying to test the extent and depth of that shield…”

    Federal law protects gun manufacturers from being sued for the actions of people who buy their guns. A lot of people would like to be able to sue the gun industry out of existence. But establishing the legal precedent of holding a manufacturer strictly liable for the actions of people over which they have no control would be devastating: consider that accidental deaths by motor vehicles dwarf those with guns.

    • Amanda Green says:

      Absolutely. Which is why I am glad we have a court system that, at least on occasion, knows how to not only apply the law but common sense as well.

    • SDN says:

      Which is why we have lawsuits and regulations based on a supposed relationship between motor vehicle exhaust and everything from cancer to brain damage. As it is, we’ve already imposed extra cost burdens on the taxpayer on that basis. “Why shouldn’t we impose them on guns?” say the loons; if that pesky 2A wasn’t in the way, they already would have.

      This is why so-called “red-flag” laws SHOULD have the 3% already shooting; we’re going to actually trust the same Leftists who define having a Y chromosome as toxic to issue honest evaluations allowing Stalin’s grandchildren to remove our rights?!?!?

  • […] and the new “credible threat” presented by Sol Pais. You can find that post over at Victory Girls Blog.  Be sure to check out Darleen’s review of Clint Hill’s book, Five Presidents, while […]

  • GWB says:

    a law banning assault weapons
    No, it did NOT. It banned rifles that had certain features that made it LOOK like an “assault rifle”.

    But that statute expired 10 years later.
    Because IT DIDN’T ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING except make citizens into criminals over what their rifle looked like.

    Federal law now largely protects the firearms industry from lawsuits
    And that law *should* be considered redundant, since common law has ALWAYS forbidden suit where the product was legal and worked as intended, with no fraud in its sale or advertisement.

    Supreme Court has strengthened gun owners’ rights
    I prefer “worked towards returning the Constitutional rights we were guaranteed (and still hasn’t gone far enough).”

    some states have authorized teachers who have undergone training to carry guns
    And, with this, those schools have much less need to lock their doors and run ‘active shooter’ drills.
    (I would be interested to see an analysis of when school shooters begin their attacks. I’m going to hypothesize that most of them start it when the students are moving between classes. And, therefore, all the active shooter drills they run – which involve locking students and teachers in their classrooms – are totally useless.)

    Twenty years later, the answers still elude us.
    Because you keep looking at the answer on the test sheet and saying, “No, that *can’t* be right! It *has* to be something else!” Then arguing that the teacher, the textbook and the test guide all got it wrong.

    has attempted to purchase (and apparently succeeded) guns
    Boy, I sure am glad that we had those laws in place to prevent someone from purchasing a firearm as an out-of-state resident. Otherwise, some crazy woman might fly into Colorado from somewhere else and get a gun and try to do something criminal. *eyeroll*

    they don’t have enough probable cause to arrest Pais
    If she purchased a shotgun in CO, while not a CO resident, then she broke federal firearms law. And the articles this morning consider her “armed and dangerous” – maybe they decided they do have probable cause.
    They haven’t said where Pais came from.
    This morning they’re saying she came from Miami. (Yep, you got that in your update.)

    ban all rifles that look like assault weapons

    And, yes, the progs will use this – even if she doesn’t do anything more than wave the shotgun at someone – as fodder for their “You people can’t be *trusted* with guns!” campaign.

    If I were in Co right now, I would be armed to the teeth, taking responsibility for my own protection and the protection of those I love. That is what it means to be a free citizen, rather than a protected serf.
    (My last shotgun purchase came when I was living in the Seattle area and some nasty dudes escaped from a prison in CO. The authorities thought they might be headed northwest, and I had a wife – who felt vulnerable – and 6yo son to worry about, and all my firearms were still in my household goods shipment. The store next to our mailbox had a sale on a Mossberg 12ga, and I jumped on it. Much more usable than the Franchi SPAS-12 I owned previously.)

    • Amanda Green says:

      As always, GWB, we agree on the heart of the matter. Unfortunately, those wanting to limit–or down right abolish–our 2A rights will use this (and her death) to try to push their agenda.

      There are so many questions about what happened, the way law enforcement handled the release of information, etc., that need to be answered. Not that I’m going to hold my breath.

      • Zenman says:

        Here is part of the answer regarding the purchase

        The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms pointed CPR to a provision of federal law that says a rifle or shotgun can only be sold to an out-of-state resident, “provided the transaction complies with State law in the State where the licensee is located and in the State where the purchaser resides.”


        The rub here is that Florida requires buyers of all guns to be 21 or over, where as most of the country it’s 21 for handguns and 18+ for rifles and shotguns.

        Likely the seller is going to be in hot water since ignorance of the law isn’t a defense.

    • Benji says:

      At GWB,

      Love your comment. I am a Colorado Resident, born and raised here. I am armed (not as much as I would like) enough to defend my family and myself. But being in Colorado, you seem to have more information then we have been given. One thing I know was last Friday they created the “Red Flag” Law for Colorado which basically states “permits police or family members to petition a state court to order the temporary removal of firearms from a person who may present a danger to others or themselves.” I just find it funny that this 18 year old high school student skips school and is on the FBI watch list, is reported missing by her parents but yet still is able to board a plan for Colorado, land and go right to get a gun, go mess around in some other cities and then end up in Mount Evens which is about 52.2 Miles from where she was messing around(1hr and 25 min by car with no traffic). and if you have ever been there is nothing around there other then a parking lot and a lake and some historical sites and an observatory. All to “Kill Herself.” I don’t mean to be insensitive but I couldn’t stop laughing and the more I thought and laughed the more questions I cam up with. How does a high school kid get enough money to get a plan ticket? How did she board the plan with the FBI not watching her? How was she all over Littleton and Golden and then get to Mount Evans(News said she took Uber, but that would be an expensive ride)? Where did she get the money for all of this? And then the coincidence of this taking place 4-5 days after the “Red Flag” Law is put in place, all the while, most Sheriffs and Law Enforcement Officers were openly stating they would not enforce that law. Ummmm sounds like someone was trying to make a statement. Lastly, how did the FBI identify her so fast if she shot her self with a shotgun? Just a rant on more questions that will never be publicized because it would discredit the awesome systems that we have in place that are ridiculous to those who put up with the laws. One Flaw in your post is in the state of Colorado, you don’t need to be a resident in order to purchase a weapon legally so technically she didn’t break any state laws by this Federaly I am not sure where that lands, but I am pretty sure the shop that sold it to her would be in a bit of a pickle with the law.

      • Benji says:

        Sorry for the typo’s and wrong words. Trying to work and convey my thoughts at the same time.

        • Nina Bookout says:

          Great comment! One note on the Red Flag law (which is crap btw)… There is no provision in it regarding someone who comes here from another state

          • GWB says:

            Does the law specify “residents” or “citizens”, Nina? If not, then merely being in the state (with firearms) puts you under jurisdiction of the law.

            Second question: does it say anything about someone from another state who has had their firearms taken away there (or some order that would require it) who moves to CO? (That was one argument for the NICS – it supposedly used every state’s information, so you couldn’t just skip to somewhere else.)

        • OldParatrooper says:

          Benji, she apparently passed both the Colorado and Federal Background Check to buy the shotgun. The gun grabbers are blaming the gun store. I blame the authorities who approved the sale.

          She also managed to rent a car even though she was only 18. Interesting.

      • GWB says:

        As to the firearms purchase, Zenman notes that the sale has to comport with Florida law to be legal for a Florida resident. But I do stand corrected on the overall point of out-of-state sales.

        As to the “how did they?” and “how did she?”, I suspect a lot is passing of partial information in each instance, so it doesn’t come together as a coherent whole.
        But, it certainly does set you back a bit and wonder what else they get wrong.

  • Scott says:

    “She will have played into their hands as beautifully as if the role had been written for her.” While I haven’t seen the news (crazy since I’m in CO, but it’s been a busy couple days), and don’t have any info on this beyond your post, lets not forget that:
    1. The left is not above false flag operations, even to the point of “martyrdom” (sound like any other group we know?), so your comment above may be more accurate than you know.
    2. I will be following GWB’s advice, should I had into town today..(nope, she’s not coming out my way, of that I can be sure..)
    3. Yep, the left will use any excuse to take away our rights, especially those guaranteed under the 2nd Amendment, as it protects the rest, and stands in the way of them ruling over us, and instituting their totalitarian dreams.

    • Amanda Green says:

      Isn’t it sad that we don’t feel much, if any, surprise at the possibility of a false flag operation by our own politicians? Especially when it comes to stripping us of our constitutional rights?

      • Scott says:

        Very sad. The list of such ops during the administration of the “great one” is long and distinguished.. for someone that said he was going to bring us together, he did more to split this country apart than any President in memory.
        Out of order on the post, but if Mark below was referring to me, I wish he was right. Prior to obama, I would have laughed and talked about tinfoil hats if someone had suggested such things, but since those 8 years, it’s been proven that nothing is too low for the left (and those on the right that are true swamp critters as well.).

  • mark says:

    Now I know why the term gun “nuts “was coined.

  • Hate_me says:

    So there’s no real evidence that this woman has committed a crime, but we’re going to forego the presumption of innocence and paste her picture all over the internet and associate her name with mass hysteria and a school shooting that occurred two years before she was born?

    And no one in the media is concerned about how this is entirely the opposite of the very foundation of our justice system?

    When brainstorming ways to prevent a lonely, awkward teenager from doing something stupid, what genius at the FBI felt that further alienating that person is the way to go? I hope all the accusations against her prove unfounded (all I could find about the shotgun purchase was that someone called in a tip that some random, female non-resident bought a gun), and then she turns around and sues the shit out of every libelous news publication and public safety organization involved.

    • Hate_me says:

      Fuck. Sad ending. Can’t imagine the headlines helped.

      • Crystalized says:

        Really, really sad. Who knows what she was going through. And I wonder how all of this negativity got into her life. The pressure of graduating, seems like she had little to no friendship support, and then the whole continent turning against her.

        You summed it up well.

    • GWB says:

      Well, I will agree with the “not jumping to conclusions” bit. But it “was pasted all over the internet” because she had made “threatening statements” according to police.

      Part of me says, “They wouldn’t trigger a statewide manhunt just to advance a scary narrative. It would be too obvious and they would expose themselves.”
      And a fresher part of me says, “Who the f* are you kidding? After 0bama they think they can just march into power and make their utopian dreams happen. No worries about exposure because the media is in their pocket.”
      And the first part retorts hopefully, “But surely they noticed that HRC isn’t President and it’s over a year until the election in 2020.” And that voice trails off………

      And I concur that it’s a sad ending. But a better one than some (but not all) of the alternatives.

      • Hate_me says:

        Triggering a manhunt when they even admitted they didn’t have anything official to charge her with? Because she made threatening statements (which they noticeably didn’t publish) online?

        Seems like an awfully totalitarian way to deal with a troubled girl. It leaves us with more questions than answers and a young woman who clearly needed help was instead stigmatized and further alienated based on what seems to be nothing but anecdotal evidence. The fact that a school wasn’t shot up should not be the takeaway from this whole sad story, but that the American people acted out of fear and condemned someone just for being different. Nothing about this is a win.

        • Amanda Green says:

          What really bothered me about all this was the “we don’t have enough to formally charge her but we will hold her on for mental health evaluation.” That sounded too much like what happened in the Soviet Union for far too long.

          • GWB says:

            That’s a normal thing, really. Someone hasn’t committed a crime, but we think they’re off the bubble more than a standard dev, and we’re worried they might get hurt or hurt someone else. I think most conservatives have actually advocated for that at some point.

            It was the language of “manhunt” and such, and the story that seemed to be the official narrative that she was headed to Columbine to do something bad.

            I didn’t watch any of the coverage or any press conferences on it, so I don’t know how much was the authorities and how much the media. (But, I trust any random sheriff’s deputy in CO more than I trust a random ‘journalist’ writing chryons or articles for AP/Reuters/NYT/WaPo/etc.)

            • SDN says:

              That would be because most conservatives are still stupid enough to believe that we are dealing with actual fellow citizens rather than adherents to an ideology that violates their oath of citizenship.

              • GWB says:

                Uh no. It would be because most conservatives believe that insane people should be helped so that they are NOT a danger to themselves or others.

                (I have to assume you’re responding to the first paragraph, since it’s the only place I mentioned “most conservatives”.)

              • Scott says:


                While i’d agree with you on some topics, in Colorado, the bulk of the Sheriffs are true citizens, and as such have refused to enforce the BS laws, especially gun laws, and the new “red flag” law in their counties. So at least here, in some of our counties, I’ll say you’re wrong.

          • What this did make me think of was how Florida and the FBI essentially had a teenager who DID have enough red flags and known history slide to become a school shooter…

            …they needed another teen to be the ‘WE PAID ENOUGH ATTENTION THIS TIME, NO REALLY, EVEN THOUGH THERE REALLY ISN’T ANYTHING WE COULD CHARGE HER FOR!’ scapegoat and ‘proof on record.’

            Though yeah, I think the whole thing has the ‘false flag’ vibe, simply because of how flimsy it is.

    • Amanda Green says:

      Welcome to the day and age where the media wants to make and drive the news instead of reporting it. Where were those reporters with integrity who should have been asking the hard questions of the authorities? Oh, I know, they aren’t employed by the MSM or, if they are, they are kept away from stories where they might deviate from the narrative.

      • Hate_me says:

        I’m bothered by that, as well. However, what really pisses me off is how the initial articles that came out after they found her body seemed to celebrate the fact that she had killed herself before she killed anyone else. No concern for her family and their suffering, or curiosity about what drove her to it. A young woman took her own life and, in her greatest hour of need, her countrymen didn’t just turn their backs – they piled on. I have little sympathy for suicides, but nothing save disdain for those who would revel in one.

        I can understand why she felt a kinship to the Columbine duo; marginalized and seemingly without recourse, made worse by an increasingly impersonal and carelessly harsh world… somewhere in the argument over more/less guns we’ve failed to even explore the lessons behind why these students feel so lost and do such heinous things. Sure, we play lip-service to fighting bullying (often by simply bullying the bully), but we only seem to care when it’s a seemingly well-adjusted child facing some hurtful comments on Facebook -less so when it’s the fringe cliques or those who are no longer trying to fit in. It’s comforting to reject them as simply monsters, less-than humans, but that is a coward’s dodge.

        I love my country and the spirit and wisdom behind this great American experiment; but, today, given how this whole debacle was handled… just for today, I can’t say I’m proud to be American.

  • Shekinah says:

    How sad. This poor, depressed, likely bi-polar teenager has been effectively exploited for anti gun propaganda. I would wager she was never a genuine threat to anyone but herself. This situation warranted the closing of 150 schools!?? What a gratuitous effort to create anti gun hysteria. Who cared about this 18 year old girl? Anyone outside of her parents? Sure seems that her only intention was to come near where columbine happened to off herself. Why go to the base of Mt. Evans not exactly heavily populated?? Appears she wanted privacy while getting up the nerve to put the gun in her mouth and pull the trigger. Seems more that she was wishing to be one of the victims of columbine than she was thinking of perpetrating such a thing. You have two primary options being a victim of a school shooting.. you either end up dead which she clearly was fantasizing about, or you end up a hero placed upon the pedestal of divine victimhood- you may even get a book deal, a lecture circuit, invites to special events as a special guest. A career! In her case she goes down as a villian even without stepping foot in a school with the intent of shooting, thanks to the media and the anti gun vultures.

  • DJ9r says:

    The so-called 1994-2004 Assault Weapon Ban (AWB) wasn’t a ban in the normal sense of the word. Really, it was nothing more than a manufacturing freeze for firearms that had more than a certain number of “evil” features.

    When most people hear the word “ban”, they think “cannot legally possess”. By this standard, the AWB actually didn’t “ban” anything. All firearms and magazines in existence that were legal to possess in the USA the day before the ban, were STILL legal to possess the day after the ban took effect. You could still sell/transfer them legally. You could still shoot them legally. The AWB only stopped further production of firearms and magazines with certain features during the period the ban was still in effect. That’s all.

    This is important to note, because people that make wild claims about the effectiveness of the AWB often are unaware of the true nature of the “ban”. If there were 4.5 million AR-style weapons in circulation on the day the ban took effect, there were still that many 10 years later when it sunsetted. Put another way, if there was any kind of a gun-related problem on the day the ban started, and there were the same number of “banned” guns floating around 10 years later, how could the ban have any affect at all?

    Answer: it couldn’t (and didn’t).

    When you add to this the fact that many manufacturers started producing “post-ban” rifles and pistols within a year or two of the ban starting, and these guns were basically identical to the banned firearms except for the minor production changes needed to escape the ban’s scope (no telescoping/folding stocks, no flash hiders, no bayonet lugs, only 10-shot magazines, etc.), there was actually no “ban” at all for most of this period.

    When a lefty starts talking about the AWB, ask them a few questions to see how much they know about it; you (and they) will probably be shocked to find out most of what they THINK they “know” is flat-out wrong.

  • Romey says:

    Stop making the school shooters into celebrities! Deranged people, at times look up to, and will attempt to emulate and outdo the murderous rampage. Reporting does not need to show the Perps images or even their names. There is no news value to knowing these. Generic terms can describe enough information for accuracy.

    • Hate_me says:

      Sol Pais was NOT a school shooter. She did not emulate nor outdo any rampage. She is no “perp,” beyond commiting the crime of suicide. There is no “news value” (whatever that is) in failing to understand the facts.

      What we have is a journalistic/judicial affront to the principles upon which this nation was founded, and an unfortunate schoolgirl stigmatized for the sake of sensationalism. Her name should be spoken and her image should be seen, though not in the manner it originally was. We should strive to understand why she did what she did and felt how she felt, rather than dismiss it as some kind of derangement.

      • GWB says:

        Romey didn’t say Pais was a school shooter. She was obsessed with Columbine, by all accounts. Hence Romey’s call for not glorifying the killers.
        (And VG generally does not use the name of the perp in mass shootings and such for that very reason.)

        • Hate_me says:

          I haven’t seen the names or images of the original Columbine shooters in any of the coverage of this week’s events; the only name/image made notorious, yesterday, was that of Ms. Pais. If I incorrectly interpreted Romey’s post, my apologies.

          The journalistic/judicial affront I spoke of was certainly not aimed at VG, who tend to be much more professional than their mainstream brethren (sistren?).

  • Charlene Ray says:

    What I keep thinking about is the female soldier from Ft. Carson gone missing on Monday night. She was found safe on Wednesday morning at Mt. Evans base around 9:40 am the same time Sol Pais alleged!y took her own life at 9:45am. There were over 1700 military looking for her in the same area the FBI was engaged in a massive manhunt for Sol in the same area. Not much being said about either girl. I have a link about the soldier from KOAA 5 news, you just have to dig deep for the stories. I don’t know if I believe it’s a confidence of its all tied together. One sure can’t imagine FBI and Military being that close searching but no one says a word about it. Sol Pais as a pawn in a deadly game. Someone changed her webpage after she died then changed it back. Now the soldier I read had info on something about Hillary Clinton. What is this all about? What really happened at Mt. Evans, Colorado. Did all those people hunting for Sol and the female soldier get the right one. If you look up about the soldier you have to put (lost soldier found Wednesday). I would like to know who has heard about it and your thoughts. I’m so glad I found Victorygirls Blog. Keep up the good work. KRDO has a top story about the soldier here’s the link for it

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