Can this Mass Shooting Issue Be Solved Legislatively?
Another tragedy has come to us here in the United States. Seventeen people were murdered and 14 more people were injured in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said 12 people died inside the school, 2 died outside of the school, 1 person died on the corner near the school and 2 people died at hospital.
The alleged shooter was a former student at the school and was identified as Nikolas Cruz. Nikolas Cruz is 19 and was taken in custody about an hour after the mass shooting and approximately a mile from the school
Cruz, was expelled last year from this very same school, was armed with an AR-15 rifle, a gas mask and several smoke grenades.
Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert W. Runcie was quoted in a Washington Times article, and said while:
there could have been signs out there … we didn’t have any warning or phone calls or threats that were made.
Several students told local reporters that Cruz was known as a troubled loner and someone who liked guns and would even show them to fellow students off campus. They were quoted saying:
A lot of people were saying that it would be him…they would say he would be the one to shoot up the school. Everyone predicted it.
If “everyone predicted it” and many students knew about his fascination with guns why didn’t these students tell any parents or school officials about their concerns? If parents were told why did they not inform school officials or the police, if the school officials did inform the police what did the police do with that information?
A former classmate of the alleged shooter Cruz said he had a hot temper and a history of making dark, gun-related jokes.
Once student said she recalled him as withdrawn and having:
a lot of anger management issues…Finding out it was him makes a lot of sense now
She also added that he would joke about shooting people or shooting up establishments.
Jim Gard, a math teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland said Cruz had apparently previously attracted so much concern that school administrators banned him from campus.
Mr. Gard told the Miami Herald:
We were told last year that he wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack on him…There were problems with him last year threatening students, and I guess he was asked to leave campus.
Mr.Gard, who taught the student, also told the Miami Herald that he believes the school administration sent out an email warning teachers that the student had made threats against others in the past.
Really, he would show other students all the guns he had, he had anger issues and a history of making dark gun-related jokes and no one thought that they should alert the school administration or the police. Where was the breakdown here, how many signs do you need before someone actually calls in the police?
It appears that kids, parents and possibly school administration officials were afraid to say something about this kid to the authorities, and the question is why?
The big question is whether or not we feel something can be done legislatively to actually stop or greatly reduce these amounts of mass shootings.
Attacking gun rights is not the only answer, it is deeper than that. We need to look at the mental health issues, family issues, reporting of suspicion and concerns, and then possibly the gun issue as related to people with this troubled past and warning signs. At that point we should temporarily take all the guns away from someone like this until they can get mental health treatment. By the way, that would not mean that they couldn't somehow illegally acquire more guns or make bombs.
The other issue would be is this cultural and if so how do we exactly legislatively address that?