As Americans learn more and more about what actually happened leading up to the massacre at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School located in Parkland, Florida the more astonished they are that this happened. There are two smaller groups of people who are getting angrier and angrier.
Who are two angry groups?
The first group are the Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, the Broward County School Board, transgender students, some vocal Marjory Stoneman Douglas students and politicians representing the Democratic Party.
The second group are those who want safe schools for children, don’t trust government to protect them, believe in God, are law abiding gun owners, and politicians representing the Republican Party.
The first group blames what happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on:
- Guns in general and the AR 15 style rifle in particular.
- The National Rifle Association.
- The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
- The Republican Party in general and President Donald J. Trump in particular.
The second group blames what happened on February 14th, 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on 19-year old Nikolas Cruz the man in custody and charged with the premeditated murder of 17 faculty members and students.
Which one is right?
The first group wants more government control of guns and more reliance on government and law enforcement to protect school children.
The second group believes that murder is a crime and believes in crime prevention, if you see something, say something. The second group believes in self-defense.
As the facts become know about what happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, when and by whom, the story tends to support the second group over the first group.
Here are the facts:
- In 2010 the Broward County School Board acquiesced to demands made by the NAACP to stop reporting illegal acts by minority students to the police under a policy titled “diversionary programs.” Students who engaged in violence, drug sales, robberies, burglaries, theft and other various crimes were intentionally kept out of the criminal justice system.
- Multiple students and teachers reported that Nikolas Cruz was “troubled.” Cruz posted disturbing photographs on his social media sites.
- Cruz was suspended from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Former schoolmate Joshua Charo said Cruz had been found with bullets in his backpack.
- Nikolas Cruz has no criminal record.
- Nikolas Cruz posted on YouTube “Im going to be a professional school shooter”.
- At least two citizens contacted the FBI warning that Cruz was a danger and wanted to shoot up a school. The first tip was on September 24th, 2017, the second on January 5th, 2018.
- Law enforcement visited Cruz on at least two dozen occasions after receiving 911 calls. On November 29, 2017, Nikolas Cruz called 911 himself in Palm Beach County to report that someone “attacked me and said they were going to gut me.”
- The Broward County Sheriff’s office released records dating back 10 years documenting contacts it had with Nikolas Cruz. The records released are logs of 23 separate 911 calls, including 15 calls made by his now-deceased mother, Linda Cruz, reporting disputes and disturbances involving Cruz between November 2008 and June 2014. Several other calls were made by third parties beginning in February 2016 through November 2017.
- On February 5, 2016, deputies received a call summarized as: “Third hand information from the neighbor’s son that Nikolas Cruz planned to shoot up the school on Instagram (Picture of Juvenile with guns.) One month time delay. Unknown high school. Cruz lives in area.”
- Cruz passed a background check and purchased a Smith & Wesson M&P 15 rifle in February, 2017 from Sunrise Tactical Supply in Coral Springs, Florida.
- On February 14, 2018 at 2:12 p.m. EST Nikolas Cruz entered Building 12 and began shooting faculty and students.
- At 2:50 p.m. Cruz calmly went into a Walmart near the school and purchased a drink at a Subway inside and then left the store.
- At 2:53 p.m. Broward County Deputies responded to reports of a shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School. There was one Broward County deputy already on campus. He did nothing to stop Cruz during the assault nor arrest him once he left the campus. It is reported that three other Broward County Sheriff’s deputies were on the scene but did not go into Building 12 to find the shooter or help the wounded.
- At 3:41 p.m. a Coconut Creek police officer detained Cruz in Coral Springs, Florida.
- On February 15th, 2018 Florida shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz was booked into the Broward County jail and charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
The Bottom Line
Given this timeline it is clear that:
- Nikolas Cruz was known to law enforcement at every level from the Broward County Sheriff’s office to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
- In the Broward County School system Nikolas Cruz was know as troubled and a growing threat to other students.
- Nikolas Cruz, like the shooters at Columbine, were able to get weapons. Nikolas Cruz passed a federal background check and was allowed to buy a rifle.
- At least four Broward County deputies did not do what was expected of them. Question: Are they cowards or were they told to stand down?
- At least two unarmed faculty and one unarmed student at the high school, assistant football coach Aaron Feis, athletic director Chris Hixon and Junior ROTC Cadet Peter Wang, raced toward the shots and attempted to shield others. All three died as heroes.
Government did not protect the children in Parkland, Florida. Government is working to downplay its failures by directing attention at others and an inanimate object.
Bottom line: Government failed! People died!
American author, historian, and Unitarian minister Edward Everett Hale wrote, “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”