You want to blame somebody. I understand that. What I don’t understand is why you blame the gun.
Have you read the findings of the Florida commission that investigated the Parkland shooting? I have. The commissioners unanimously blamed Nikolas Cruz for committing the murders. They blamed the Broward County Public Schools, the administration at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office for allowing the shooting to happen.
They faulted lax security, incompetence, ill-advised policies, a response the commission called “abysmal” by Deputy Scot Peterson and the response by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.
Did you know that not only did the Broward County officers fail to engage, they prevented officers from another department from entering the school?
Yup, they really did that.
Nine months after the shooting, commissioners revisited the school and we appalled to find that none of the recommended changes, including those that would not have cost the school any money, had been implemented.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis suspended Sheriff Scott Israel in January, partly because of the Parkland shootings.
The commission found no fault whatsoever with Sunrise Tactical, the store where Cruz bought his Smith & Wesson M&P 15 rifle. The sale complied with all applicable federal and state laws. Likewise, the NICS background check system worked exactly as it was supposed to work; there was no disqualifying information on Cruz in their records.
There also was no information on file when Cruz bought seven other guns, including a copy of an AK-47. As to why Cruz chose to use the AR-15, which uses a cartridge that is actually less powerful than the round used by the AK-47, it may well be because it had been used by the previous mass shooters Cruz wanted to emulate. Or perhaps it was the media obsession with the AR-15.
Why was there no information? Because the Broward County Schools and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office had agreed on a diversion policy that kept Cruz out of the criminal justice system in spite of a long history of violent behavior. Had Cruz been arrested, the charges would have included enough evidence to make Cruz ineligible to ever legally possess a firearm.
Yet David Hogg, Emma Rodriguez and their group of survivors actually gave Deputy Peterson a pass because Cruz had a rifle. Curiously, officers at Santa Fe High School didn’t hesitate to engage Dimitrios Pagourtzis, who had a 12-gauge shotgun. A close-range blast from a 12-gauge would make a .223 green with envy — it is literally capable of blowing a person’s head off their shoulders. Shotgun suicides are among the goriest scenes cops encounter.
Hogg & Co. gave everybody a free pass except Sunrise Tactical, Smith & Wesson and existing gun laws.
Bet you hadn’t heard that the background check bill passed by the House of Representatives is literally unenforceable. In fact, provisions in the bill itself guarantee there would never be a way to enforce it. This is on top if the fact that it would never survive the first legal challenge because Congress doesn’t have the constitutional power to enact such a law.
The Commerce Clause in the Constitution doesn’t give Congress the power to regulate transfers outside of the normal channels of interstate commerce.
Background checks by licensed dealers are perfectly legal because licensed dealers, distributors, manufacturers and importers are the only ones that can legally ship firearms in interstate commerce. That’s been the law since 1938. In addition, the federal government, as the sole licensing agency for the firearms trade, has the authority to issue rules and regulations governing the trade.
Yes, I was sorry to hear about both Parkland survivor suicides. I was also sorry to hear about all of the casualties inflicted by Nikolas Cruz just like I was sad to hear about the murders committed by Charles Whitman, Robert Smith, Anthony Barbaro, Patrick Purdy, Eric Houston, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, Kip Kinkel, Jeffrey Weise, Charles Roberts, Adam Lanza and Gabe Parker.
But you know what? There isn’t a gun law on the table that would have stopped any of them.
In fact, 44 of the mass shooters since background checks became required in 1994 passed them. Some even passed more stringent state background checks. Stephen Paddock, who had 22 AR-style rifles in his hotel room when he gunned down people in Las Vegas, had passed background checks for all of them.
Assault Weapons Bans? The first one not only didn’t have an impact on violent crime, the use of rifles in homicides has been 21% lower since the ban expired than it was in the ten years the ban was in effect. More people are murdered every year with knives, blunt instruments and bare hands that are killed with rifles. That’s according to the FBI, not the NRA.
Restrictions on magazine capacities? After Elliot Rodger committed suicide following his shooting spree in Isla Vista, authorities recovered more than a dozen California-compliant, restricted-capacity, fully loaded magazines from his car. Beyond that, mass shooters have been known to actually take the time to reload magazines.
Let’s recap: Nikolas Cruz passed a background check; there are numerous rifles on the exempted list of every ban that’s been enacted or proposed that can be fired rapidly and use cartridges either as lethal or more lethal than the AR-15; magazine restrictions can be circumvented simply by have more of them. Red flag laws? Even if Florida had had red flag laws, none were ever raised.
So which of these laws would have stopped Nikolas Cruz and saved the lives of not only those killed on Valentine’s Day but the young people who took their own lives later?
Forget the attempted guilt trip and don’t even try to “gun-shame” me; I’m not the one standing on the bodies of dead people to push laws that wouldn’t have saved any of them.
And, yeah, I really do feel good about the fact that fewer people are being killed or injured by violent crime. I’m not sure why you don’t seem as pleased.