It’s a bright sunny morning. The school is filled with sounds of studying and socializing as young people fill classrooms and hallways. Thoughts of tests, and plans for finishing the week, then enjoying another weekend of youthfulness. Ah, the carefree life of adolescence.
Then the unexpected, unimagined snap of gunfire breaks the consciousness and rips the flesh of those going about their daily routine of innocence and normalcy. Another day in the life of a school ground shooter changing the lives of his nameless victims.
17 dead. Students, staff, all led to believe it was another regular day until that moment they met the assassin’s random, impartial objective: death and disruption. For it was not meant to be another normal day. The shooter moved from classroom to classroom, pausing briefly each time in the doorway to shoot, then moving on to the next room finding more innocents to kill.
The shooter’s true motive is unknown. Media reports assumed it to be related to his expulsion from school, along with his subsequent feeling of victimhood and hopelessness. Another of “society’s children” victimized by their own actions seek revenge on the blameless and guiltless.
Such was that infamous day at Gutenberg school in Erfurt, Germany, April 26, 2002. The lone, disturbed yet impassioned murderer, Robert Steinhäuser, brought his wrath to school, much like others, who seek to punish for personal or political reasons. Another in a growing list of slaughtering stereotypes seeking their place in social antiquity.
Thomas Hamilton, in 1996, added his name to the roster with 17 dead in his Stirlingshire, Scotland massacre when he shot sixteen children and a teacher at the Scottish primary school before killing himself. And the list of school shootings go on all over the world.
Liberals would have you believe that America is to blame. Our society’s laws, accepting attitudes toward guns, the 2nd Amendment, Trump, or conservative values are to blame for the senseless spray of slaughtering slugs. They portray it’s more unique to America, our open way of life and freedoms. It’s a curse stemming from our right to keep and bear arms.
Violence, murder and mayhem on school grounds have been added as a sizzling hot topic to the long list of liberal talking points, and the complicit media seeking the next big “rights” discussion. It’s another in the established and growing line of “reasons” Americans should let the government run their lives instead of logic, reason, reality and, oh yeah…the Constitution.
But as we saw, the government did not protect these students and teachers. Months and years before, students made remarks that if there was ever to be a school shooting, it would be Cruz on the trigger. The dozens of home visits by police to Nikolas Cruz were dismissed, the many well-intentioned reports by students went unheeded while even direct calls to the FBI were ignored and not passed to local offices for follow up and action.
And that fateful day? Scot Peterson, the deputy assigned to protect the school, waited outside the building instead of going in; Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said this week Peterson waited for four to six minutes even though he could “clearly” hear gunfire. “I gave him a gun. I gave him a badge. I gave him the training. If he didn’t have the heart to go in, that’s not my responsibility.” Maybe knowing an officer’s “heart” is now more important? Maybe you need to answer the 40 investigations into your own administration as sheriff?
Upon their arrival, Coral Springs police officers say they found Peterson and three other deputies outside the school, pistols drawn and hiding in safety behind their vehicles while others, undeservingly, met Cruz’s deadly dose of disdain for their lives.
The bungled handling of the Parkland shooting, before, during, and after, has grown in increasingly important frustration and accusations. Law enforcement failed to act at several milestones in the timeline before the shooting: the FBI didn’t act on a January tip about the danger posed by Cruz, and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office failed to write up a November warning about him.
During a conversation with good friend of mine, a 30+ year veteran of a Chicago suburb police department, came a well-taken point that seems evident in many locals. And it was certainly present in this Florida situation. County sheriff’s personnel seem less trained, less committed or at the least, less involved than those of regular city and state police forces. Broward (or as now referred to Coward) County officers seem to have protected themselves while Coral Springs took action upon their arrival.
My friend’s point being that, while many officers are courageous and professional, many times, the “county sheriff’s” office is more cronyism and a soft retirement gig where former LEOs go for a nice added retirement, are many times not in as good of physical shape, and are looking for a less stressful, less engaging position as their full time, larger community counterparts.
When you put on a gun and a badge, you’re hired to protect and serve – not cower and refrain. Society needs and depends on the concise, immediate, precise actions of experience defending life and property. The call to law enforcement is a strong one not accepted by all. And while abused by some, is a call to duty that citizenry counts on for safety and security.
There could be catalogs filled with reasons and excuses for the actions of the delusional despots reigning death on their fellow man; be it retribution or revenge, misaligned loyalty to some political view, or the result of medicated misgivings.
In the many decades preceding the late nineteen eighties, mass shootings and acts of senseless violence on crowds were “relatively” unheard of. Prozac, the most well-known SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressant, was not yet on the market to be consumed by the handfuls by those with real or perceived mental punishments.
The left loves to demonize our 2nd Amendment and conservatives’ views, saying it’s not our inherent right. But we also need to look at many other issues. Issues such as the overly prescribed, readily available supply of drugs being pushed and pumped into our young people potentially ill-equipped to deal with their effects.
Mass shootings are not a coincidence among legal drug users. Eric Harris was on Luvox when he and Dylan Klebold killed twelve students and a teacher at Columbine High School. Cho Seung-hui, the Virginia Tech shooter who killed thirty-two people was on an antidepressant. Withdrawing from Prozac, Kip Kinkel murdered his mother and stepmother, then proceeded to shoot twenty-two classmates and killed two. Jason Hoffman wounded five at his high school while he was on Effexor, another antidepressant. James Holmes opened fire in a Colorado movie theater and killed twelve people and wounded fifty-eight. He was under the care of a psychiatrist, but no specific drug information has been released to date.
Should we review the amount of violence perpetrated, promoted and displayed through video games, movies and music? Many feel the permissive nature of the 60s advanced through our recent administration’s lax attitude toward the law and lawlessness, may continually allow people to destroy, disrupt and kill without thoughts of results and ramifications. And those not mentally capable of such responsibilities or are harboring violence need to be weeded out from the gun-buying marketplace.
Add in the ever growing “missing fathers” and the problem is exacerbated. A study in 2013 shows:
Children with negative attitudes about school and their teachers experienced avoidance and ambivalence with their fathers. On the other hand, children with a secure attachment to their father and whose father was involved had a higher academic self-concept. The father-child attachment was more associated with the child’s social-emotional school outcomes than their academic achievement.
[Source: Newland, L., Chen, H., & Coyl-Shepherd, D. (2013)]
The bottom line should be that the result of schoolyard shootings, classroom chaos and mass mobocracy of matriculation lies at the feet of the culpable assassin. There are 89 guns for every 100 Americans as many have one, two or a dozen weapons secluded in their homes that will never kill anyone. Arizona has been an open carry state forever and yet people are not roaming the streets randomly shooting everyone in sight; while Chicago, Baltimore and NY have some of the toughest gun laws with no evident positive results.
Yes, it’s time for reason and improvement in our background checks, societal responsibilities and approach to youth. With a truthful realism of facts and deliberate forethought, we can reduce violence, be it in the hallway of a local school, a shopping mall or movie theater. 98% of shootings take place in “gun-free” zones. I guess they didn’t get the memo.
“A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined…”
– George Washington, First Annual Address, to both House of Congress, January 8, 1790
Tucker Carlson makes so many valid observations. As media covers this event even more, as people realize their own responsibilities, as the masses take a good look at reality instead of rhetoric, we can hope to reduce the unhappiness of these occurrences.
We enjoy our freedoms in this country but the right to keep and bear arms was not for the purpose of hunting. It was for the protection of ourselves, families and property, and as resistance toward a tyrannical government should that day ever come. (Be it foreign or domestic?)
Some will always lose sight of the real reason behind privileges, and yet, if the will is there, then a gun will be replaced with a knife, a vehicle or other means to murder. Yes, while not a weapon of mass killing, the use of bare hands to commit murder is 25 times more prevalent than using a gun.
Eliminating guns from our lives is not the answer, as our own DOJ found that the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 shows no decrease in violence, and even an inexperienced shooter can change a “required” small capacity magazine in 2 seconds.
It’s time to set aside the hidden agenda and rhetoric of confiscation and concentrate on those ideals that will improve the lives and mindset of individuals fraught with fright against an unseen enemy of oppression…their own minds. Take away the drugs, the opportunity to arm themselves, and the societal pressures that plague them…for dealing with an aftermath instead of a precursor…is far too expensive.