Toxic Masculinity on Display in Colorado

Tombstone, Arizona – -( A popular Colorado Springs nightclub was the scene of another arrogant display of toxic masculinity this week, as a cisgender, straight, male Army veteran tackled, disarmed, and pistol-whipped a non-binary person half his age. When police arrived, they didn’t shoot the man, who was covered in blood, holding a gun, and sitting on the chest of his victim, instead, they tackled him, put him in handcuffs, and sequestered him in the back of a patrol car for over an hour as they sorted out the situation.

Then they just let him go!

Of course, the man I’m talking about is Richard Fierro who saved countless lives when he ran toward the gunfire and stopped a deranged attacker who had entered the club with a rifle and handgun, firing wildly, killing 5 and wounding some 19 others.

Fierro is a former Army officer who served multiple tours in Afghanistan before leaving the service as a Major. He and his wife were enjoying a night out with their adult daughter and her boyfriend at the club, where a high-school friend of his daughter was performing in a drag show.

Even though there was no evidence to support it, the initial narrative being pushed by the legacy media and Democratic politicians who held that the attacker was a homophobic, transphobic, right-wing, ultra-MAGA Trump supporter, following through on all of the “hateful” rhetoric that they claim conservatives have been “spewing” about trans people and the LGBTQI+ community.

That narrative lasted for a couple of days until the alleged murderer’s lawyer announced that his client identifies as non-binary, with the pronouns “they, them” and the formal prefix of Mx., rather than Mr. or Ms. So the narrative quickly swung to the idea that the deeply disturbed assailant was bullied for their non-binary status, and was driven to shoot-up the nightclub by the relentless attacks on the LGBTQI+ community by heartless Republicans and right-wing fanatics, otherwise known as average Americans.

There’s also been a whole lot of talk on leftist and Democratic media and blogs, denouncing the “right” for disparaging and failing to embrace Richard Fierro as a hero. They claim that “right-wingers” are ignoring Fierro’s heroic actions because they disapprove of Fierro being in the club in the first place. The only supporting evidence I’ve seen offered for this bizarre claim, was one, an out-of-context tweet from a conservative asking why Fierro was at a drag show with his family, and a whole lot of tweets and comments from deranged wokesters asking suggestive questions about how the “right-wingers” feel about Fierro’s presence in the club, and their imagined disappointment that Fierro didn’t have a gun. Meanwhile, I’ve seen nothing but praise for Fierro and his actions from conservative media commentators and the conservative side of social media. The only “off-color” comments I’ve seen suggested that it was a lucky thing there happened to be a “real man” in the club that night.

The atrocity was immediately politicized, and the political polarization has continued unabated, with the two main points being to lay blame at the feet of Republicans and conservatives, and calls for swift action to enact stricter gun control laws.

What’s been thoroughly neglected by the mass media, is the fact that the murderer was a deeply disturbed young man from a deeply troubled and dysfunctional family. The same media that reported that he’d been involved in a standoff with police over threats to blow up his mother has lamented the fact that he was able to acquire the guns he used while skipping over the fact that he passed background checks to get those guns. Had he been tried and convicted of the felony charges that seemed to disappear, or if he had been involuntarily committed to mental treatment – and if those convictions/commitments had been reported to the National Instant Check System, he would have been flagged as a Prohibited Person. The media question why Colorado’s “red flag” law wasn’t employed to take the guns away from him, but fails to mention that “red flag” laws only take away guns and ammunition, with no provision for any sort of assistance with mental health treatment.

This young man needed help but didn’t get it. He clearly had been struggling to find his place in the world, but rather than find ways to get help to people like him, woke media and politicians prefer to criticize people like me for calling him a young man and referring to him as “him,” which they say is “hate speech” on my part.

That’s just the sort of idiotic intersectional BS that prevents real solutions from being found and implemented. We’ve had enough of the blame games and distractions. The problem isn’t guns, nor is it conservatives’ refusal to celebrate people’s sexual deviance from the typical (i.e., norm), and feed their delusions with made-up pronouns. The problem is society’s failure to provide the type of assistance that’s really needed, and one group’s constant insistence that political disagreements are tantamount to violence, which somehow excuses violence in response.

Richard Fierro is Unequivocally a Hero!

Everything we’ve learned about him indicates that he is an all-around great guy who cares about his family and his community and doesn’t draw BS lines and distinctions based on people’s political views or sexual preferences. When gunfire erupted, he hit the floor, then ran toward the threat and neutralized it. He has been incredibly humble about his actions and has continued to be strong and supportive in the face of significant personal loss, including injuries to his wife and daughter, and the murder of his daughter’s long-time boyfriend, a young man who had been a part of their family since middle school.

I don’t know or care what Richard Fierro’s political views might be. He could come out tomorrow with a statement calling for a ban on “assault weapons,” and I would still hail him as a hero, and relish the opportunity to buy the man a beer – or maybe buy a beer from him, as his family owns a brewpub in Colorado Springs. If you’d like to buy him a beer or show your support, as many in Colorado Springs, and from around the country are doing, you can visit their website at Atrevida Beer Company.

I have no doubt that Mr. Fierro and his family will appreciate and share your support with the same humility and grace they have demonstrated throughout this tragedy.