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.
Sol Pais is armed & dangerous. We are operating out of an abundance of caution. Threat is not isolated to one school or individual. Federal, state & local law enforcement are working together to keep our community safe. Tip Line: 303-630-6227. Media Line: 303-630-6427 #FindSol pic.twitter.com/6FkiYBdKpJ
— Jeffco Sheriff (@jeffcosheriffco) April 17, 2019
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.”
We can confirm that Sol Pais is deceased. We are grateful to everyone who submitted tips and to all our law enforcement partners for their efforts in keeping our community safe.
— FBI Denver (@FBIDenver) April 17, 2019
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)
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