Alleged 'Anti-LGBT' Mass Shooter Who Didn't Fit Media Narrative Quietly Sentenced on Monday


Anderson Lee Aldrich was supposed to be to LGBT hate what Dylann Roof was to white supremacist extremism or the Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue shooter was to anti-Semitism in America. He was an object lesson in how bigoted, how hateful and how divided this country was.

On Monday, 23-year-old Aldrich was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, according to Reuters, after pleading guilty to five counts of first-degree murder and 46 counts of attempted murder after a shooting rampage inside a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado in November 2022. The plea garnered little media coverage; Reuters’ report was only 15 paragraphs and made no mention of hate other than a brief mention that he “pleaded no contest to two counts of bias-motivated crimes.”

You may have forgotten about Aldrich and the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs. The media certainly didn’t want you to forget it during the first few days after Aldrich was charged with the mass shooting. Then came a very inconvenient fact which never really came into dispute:

Aldrich identified as nonbinary.

Before then, the Club Q shooting was a political cause celebre. Former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki used the event to remind American “that members of the LGBTQ+ community continue to be targeted by hate, by judgment and by violence. 32 transgender people have been killed so far this year. It is an everyday fear people are living with … in 2022.”

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A statement from President Joe Biden said, “We know that the LGBTQI+ community has been subjected to horrific hate violence in recent years. Gun violence continues to have a devastating and particular impact on LGBTQI+ communities across our nation and threats of violence are increasing.”

Was this a hate crime?

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat and the first openly gay governor in the United States, had this to say, according to the Colorado Sun: “The only motive here is pure evil, whether it was for personal reasons or specifically targeted to the LGBTQ community. We now need to focus on coming together around the healing process for those directly involved as well as LGBTQ Americans across the state across the country.”

And then came the bombshell report that alleged shooter, Aldrich, identified as “non-binary” and “they use they/them pronouns,” as indicated in court documents filed by his public defender.

Of course, that was met with disbelief both on social media and in establishment media as well:

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Even Reuters seemed to cast doubt upon this, phrasing it thusly: “Aldrich, who told the court they identify as nonbinary, declined to speak during the sentencing, but their defense lawyer, Joseph Archambault, said Aldrich wanted the court to know that ‘they are deeply remorseful.'”

There is no evidence, however, that this was some kind of scam or that Aldrich didn’t believe himself to be nonbinary. Indeed, the primary motivating factor seemed to be that Aldrich was a deeply disturbed individual with a problematic home life who shouldn’t have had access to firearms in the first place.

“Aldrich was known to law enforcement, having been arrested in June 2021. Aldrich’s mother had reported that Aldrich had threatened to detonate a bomb and harm her with multiple weapons, according to a press release from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office. Aldrich’s mother declined to testify for the prosecution, and the case was dismissed,” Reuters reported.

And that was that. Quietly, Aldrich was sentenced to life behind bars.

Remember the panic, though. Remember the statements from public figures like the president, Psaki and Polis, which tacitly pointed a finger at Republicans.

Remember figures like MSNBC contributor Frank Figliuzzi, who had this to say after the shooting: “If he’s a consumer of the people we just rattled off from Lauren Boebert to Tucker Carlson, let’s get it out. Let’s get it out at trial. Let’s expose it for what it is. Name it and shame it. He’s a consumer of these people and those people should face civil consequences from the victims.”

Or remember Whoopi Goldberg of “The View,” who also blamed Rep. Boebert: “Words matter, and people like Lauren Boebert, who, you know, has been in the forefront of dissing LGBTQ+ people, is now saying her prayers and thoughts go with the families. Well, they don’t really need your prayers and thoughts, they needed your votes. That’s what they need.”

Where are they now? They’ve moved on, because the narrative wasn’t there. This was a deeply unstable young man who needed professional and legal intervention in his life. He didn’t get it, and he killed five people. If a hate crime isn’t really a hate crime, the media moves on and gives it only passing coverage, no matter how many people died. What a shocker.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture