The other was from someone close to Cruz who warned he was a potential school shooter.
The FBI conducted a perfunctory investigation of the first, failed to even respond to the second and thus exposed the “See Something Say Something” campaign for the panacea it clearly is not.
Had the FBI responded it would have learned the local family services agency had investigated Cruz because of his live posting on Snapchat in which, “Mr. Cruz has fresh cuts on both his arms…and stated he plans to go out and buy a gun.”
Had the FBI contacted the local sheriff it would have learned that office had received twenty telephone calls about Cruz and had gone to his home many times.
Had the FBI contacted the local mental health office it would have learned that office had its mobile crisis unit evaluate Cruz to determine whether he should be committed.
Those threats received by the FBI, together with the Snapchat incident, would have been sufficient grounds to commit Cruz. I’ve represented many individuals involved in mental health commitments.
Once committed, Cruz would have lost his right to have a firearm. Then, when he went into that gun-shop to purchase the AR-15 he would have been declined. Had he been committed after the purchase the sheriff could have seized that firearm.
The FBI’s failure here has become par for the course. The FBI had been warned in advance about other nascent mass shooters.
From Fort Hood, to the Boston Marathon and the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, the FBI had been made aware there were intended mass murderers in our midst.
Yet the agency failed to prevent the attacks. The alleged slaying by Cruz of the 17 innocents in Parkland is yet another reminder that law enforcement will often fail to protect us. The real lesson learned here is just how unsafe our school children really are.
When I drop off my children at school in the morning I know they’re not safe. That’s because there’s no good guy there with a gun. Our schools are ironically “Gun Free Zones.”
In Pennsylvania, it’s a misdemeanor to possess a firearm at school. Yet the evidence has shown time and again that law does not and cannot protect our children. Gun free zones disarm the law-abiding and endanger the innocent by leaving them defenseless in the face of fully-armed sociopaths intent to kill.
I attended Franklin Regional School District outside of Pittsburgh in the 1980s and remember watching students in the rifle team carrying their rifles to school; they shot in a gun range in our school basement. I drove to school in my pick-up truck with my shotgun in the gun rack.
Now we have parents who are “friends” with their children. There is no corporal punishment. And many children, including most of the school shooters, are on psychotropic medication with suicidal and homicidal ideation as side effects.
In 2014, my alma mater made the headlines when a 16-year old student used two kitchen knives to slash 20 classmates and a school security guard.
Like the Parkland shooter, this attacker was not stopped by the unarmed security guard or the in-school police officer; in both cases the officers arrived too late. The Franklin attacker was stopped by a heroic yet unarmed assistant principal who tackled him – but after the attacker stabbed 21 people.
The Parkland shooter was not stopped. But a heroic yet also unarmed security guard tried to protect students by using himself as a human shield. How brave yet sad that the only thing these men had to protect these children was their bodies.
The principals in my children’s schools sent parents an email in response to Parkland claiming that my children are safe. Really? They, ironically, touted the See Something Say Something mantra that failed so horribly in Parkland. They also offered counseling to my children if they feel “anxious or afraid.”
My children don’t need counseling or a hug. What they need is for the gun free school laws to be repealed, for teachers, administrators and parents to be trained and carrying firearms and ready, willing and able to use them. I have several guns at home ready to defend my children from an armed intruder.
Yet, I send my children to school where they are defenseless. Although it’s impolitic to say, the best way to stop a school shooter is to shoot him. And, that requires a gun. The more, the better.