Last December, 28 year old Edgar Maddison Welch of North Carolina traveled from his home state to Washington D.C. to visit a popular pizza restaurant on a Sunday afternoon. The problem was that Welch’s plans did not include a desire to try the pizza and grab a beer at Comet Ping Pong. Welch was instead motivated by the popular pizzagate theory that alleges that Comet Ping Pong is at the center of a massive child sex ring that involves Bill and Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton’s former campaign manager John Podesta, Comet’s owner, James Alefantis, and a long list of other D.C. power players thought to be pedophiles according to pizzagate lore. Even Lady Gaga is implicated by pizzagate theorists.
People remain convinced that pizzagate is real, but in December, belief in the theory was at a fever pitch. According to the Washington Post, on December 4, 2016, Edgar Maddison Welch drove his Toyota Prius to Washington armed with a full loaded AR-15, a 12-gauge shotgun and a revolver with the intention of violently raiding Comet Ping Pong, pizzagate headquarters, in order to save children from what he believed was a sick fate at the hands of the owner of the restaurant and his associates.
“Raiding a pedo ring, possible [sic] sacrificing the lives of a few for the lives of many,” Welch wrote in a text message at the time. “Standing up against a corrupt system that kidnaps, tortures and rapes babies and children in our own back yard.”
Thankfully, no one was hurt during the ordeal. Welch did fire the rifle a few times at a locked closet door. Some computer equipment behind the door was damaged by the shots. Workers and patrons had already been evacuated by the time shots were fired. One employee did enter a back door without knowing anything was going on inside the restaurant. Welch pointed his gun at the employee, but did not fire any shots. Welch later surrendered.
Now, Welch could be facing several years in prison after pleading guilty to a federal charge of firearms and ammunition across state lines and a Washington D.C. charge of assault with a dangerous weapon. The federal charge could land him in prison for 18 to 24 months and the D.C. charge could see him facing 18 to 60 months. A more serious D.C. charge of possessing a firearm while committing a crime of violence was dropped by prosecutors when Welch’s lawyers said their defendant agreed to plead guilty. Sentencing is set for June.
Welch will also have to pay restitution of $5744.33 to Comet Ping Pong for damage to computer equipment, the closet door, and a ping pong table.
According to Heavy, Edgar Maddison Welch has acted in a horror film. News that he had been an actor prompted some pizzagate theorists to speculate that the event was a “false flag,” or a staged event to make people who believe in pizzagate look bad. This remains a topic of speculation, but no evidence has been presented that can confirm such an allegation.
— Don Chee (@innercityvandal) March 24, 2017
Pizzagate remains a heated topic of concern for many people who believe that there are elite pedophile rings kidnapping, abusing, and killing children, and that these pedophile rings stretch into the highest echelons of power in Washington D.C. and beyond. Critics of the pizzagate theory argue that the evidence being presented requires a lot of conjecture to jump to the conclusions that it reaches. Others believe that it’s quite possible that there is a problem with children being targeted for sex, but that it’s highly unlikely that a popular pizza restaurant is at the center of it all.
Whatever the truth may be, it is clear that pizzagate has left its mark on the world for years to come, including altering the life of one lone gunman who seems to truly believe he was doing the right thing.
[Featured Image by Sathi Soma/AP Images]