While the rage still simmering from the St. Valentine’s Day 2018 massacre at a Parkland, Florida high school is understandable — it’s also wholly misdirected.
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School survivors and family members of victims have a new villain to direct their wrath at — the school itself.
So why is everyone holding the National Rifle Association responsible?
The Sun-Sentinel, a Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based newspaper, reported Friday that the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, realized he needed help and reached out to the school a year before the mass shooting that took 17 lives.
The help, although available, was denied.
And that information was supposed to have been withheld from the public. The school sent it to the newspaper with two-thirds of it redacted, but the redactions could be easily defeated.
A court-ordered report prepared by the Collaborative Educational Network of Tallahassee revealed that Broward County school officials failed in their handling of Cruz, a student with special needs.
And they failed him twice. And by failing the shooter, they failed the victims.
Cruz began exhibiting behavior in his junior year so bizarre that guidance counselors believed he should be committed. He was offered three choices:
- He could transfer to the special needs oriented Cross Creek school;
- He could sue the school district; or,
- He could remain at Stoneman Douglas without being offered special treatment.
However, the school officials omitted one more option available to students — the ability to continue classes at Stoneman Douglas while receiving special counseling. That omission was especially odd given that the counselor knew Cruz had serious problems.
He opted to continue his education as a "regular student,"unaware that counseling would have been available to him.
Cruz had a change of heart, however, and requested a transfer to Cross Creek. The school "did not follow through" with his request — it neither honored it nor offered counseling at Stoneman Douglas.
On Feb. 8, 2017, he dropped out of school altogether, and three days later purchased the rifle he used to murder 14 student and three adults the following year.
Pile the school’s failures up along with those of the FBI and especially the Broward County Sheriff’s Office (BSO), which had ample evidence that something was wrong but failed to act. Then factor in Scott Peterson, the school resource officer who failed to respond to the shooting.
Everyone who owed a duty to protect the students and faculty at Marjory Stoneman Douglas — including the shooter himself — failed miserably.
Yet rather than demand answers from those who shrugged off their responsibility, everyone’s accusing the National Rifle Association (NRA) — a legal organization operating within the law — although it did nothing to contribute to the tragedy.
The very day the Sun-Sentinel reported the lapse of officials at their own school, protesters gathered in front of the Fairfax, Virginia NRA national headquarters.
David Hogg, a young anti-gun activist who has elbowed his way into liberal national news outlets, called the NRA, which is dedicated to firearm training and safety, "one of the greatest threats to American lives today."
And while the protesters chanted their slogans, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., was waging another war against the NRA. He and state regulators were engaging in what the gun rights group called a "blacklisting campaign," persuading banks and insurers to stop doing business with the organization.
New York State was targeting the NRA’s Carry Guard insurance program, prompting the group to file a federal lawsuit in May. In an amended complaint filed late July, the NRA alleged that New York "imminently" deprived it of basic financial services "essential to the NRA’s corporate existence and its advocacy mission."
In short, New York wants to put the NRA out of business.
On Friday — the day of both the demonstration and the disclosure of the school’s own wrongdoing — Cuomo issued a statement in reply to the NRA’s revised complaint.
"New York will not be intimidated by the NRA's frivolous lawsuit to advance its dangerous gun-peddling agenda," he said.
Friday saw no protests at the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, or the local school board, all of whom played a role in the shooting. Only the NRA was the scene of demonstrations, which contributed nothing to the massacre.
It’s as though the February 14 shooting left the nation with its right arm bleeding, and the left’s answer is to put a tourniquet on the left leg.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He’s also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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