A teen gunman accused of opening fire with a semi-automatic rifle at his former high school in Parkland, Florida, has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder, officials said Thursday.
Authorities said the suspect, identified as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, concealed himself in the crowd fleeing Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School following the massacre on Wednesday afternoon. He was arrested in nearby Coral Springs.
Fourteen others were wounded, five with life-threatening injuries, hospital officials said.
Here’s my personal reaction, as this particular blog post is very informal as I just wrote whatever came to mind, not that much editing and revision occurred after initially writing this. This is my raw reaction to the shooting and my solutions to the gun problem (where all of my ideas probably are not going to all be favored but some conservatives).
All right, so let’s walk through it. We’ve got this guy 19 year old Nikolas Cruz. He’s a ne’er-do-well. Why is he a ne’er-do-well? Well his father died. He’s adopted. His mother died. I mean this kid had it rough, so he was adopted. They moved to Florida. The adopters: Linda and Roger Kruse. All right. And then about 2005, Roger Kruse died of a heart attack. So no father in the home. And then last November the mother, Linda dies of pneumonia.
Now this seems to have set Nikolas off, the death of his mother. So therefore he had to then move around, the State didn’t know what to do with him, 19 years old. And he winds up living in a home of one of his friends, a classmate, and winds up going to school at Margory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County. The boy was expelled from the high school. But here’s what’s interesting, before that, before the expulsion, and it was for fighting we understand, he had done okay in an ROTC program. So it looks like once his mother died he went off the rails. That’s what it looks like now.
Now supposedly Nikolas Cruz gave off all kinds of signals all right after he was expelled. He went to some kind of what they call opportunity school. You get expelled from a public school, you go to another school for kids who are trouble. We don’t know what his status at that school was, but they tried to get him in there. He was working at a dollar store, but he was a troubled kid there’s no doubt about it. And he was acting out on social media postings under his name said, “I want to shoot people with an AR-15. I want to die fighting, killing.” “I am going to kill law enforcement one day, they go after the good people.” You know I mean there were a lot of flags on this kid and the FBI was told about him. We don’t really know the status of what happened after that, but the FBI indeed was told about him.
Now in Florida you can buy a rifle. (An AR-15 in this case A.R. stands for Armalite. It’s not assault rifle, it’s Armalite, it’s a semiautomatic. It takes 30 rounds but you can customize it to 100 rounds.) If you’re 18 years old in Florida, you can buy this weapon and you don’t need a license, training anything like that. If you buy from a licensed dealer, they’ll do a background check, but if you buy from somebody without a license they won’t. But Nikolas obtained the weapon legally. So he bought the rifle, he had the rifle, people knew he had the rifle. And then he had those flash grenades and things like that on him also. So the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (the ATF) will be investigating that. Florida has very liberal gun laws, in order to buy a pistol you have to be 21 but a rifle. Anybody can pick that up, if you’re over 18. Remember you can’t buy cigarettes unless you’re 21 so and you don’t have to register. You don’t have to register, you don’t really do anything. It’s a liberal state in that regard.
You know there’s some neo nazis saying that he was involved with them, we don’t know that, to be a fact, so the media outlets should stop reporting that. There are a lot of those rumors floating around.
So when the commentators got a hold of this story there was the usual hysteria and I want to give you some very interesting stats starting with Columbine.
The mass shooting in Colorado in 1999 to this day 227 people have been killed in fatal school shootings, 227. That’s a lot 23 of those elementary kids, that was in Connecticut. However, in 1999 there were 28,874 shooting deaths in America. 28,874 shooting deaths in 1999. In 2017; 15,590. That’s almost cut in half. So when the commentators tell you that “this is out of control” and that “guns are everywhere”, it’s not necessarily true (in this country anyway). These kinds of crimes, shooting crimes are going down.
Here’s the most startling fact of all. In 1999 there were 641,000 victims of gunshots wounds. Last year, 2017; 70,000 from 641,000 to 70,000. So authorities are making progress on solving this problem. No doubt about it. We are not becoming more violent as far as guns are concerned, we’re becoming less violent here in America. You’ll never hear that. You will never hear that in the national media.
Now here are my solutions, and some of them are going to be unpopular. But it is the most sensible thing to do in this situation. We cannot continue to let our schools get shot up.
Let me start with this. States are primarily responsible for gun laws, not the federal government. The Federal Government has to enforce the Constitution which is, we the people have a right to bear arms. That means you can’t ban all guns. We have a right to protect ourselves. But the individual states have a right to define how that’s carried out. And that’s the way it should be. There are different standards here in New York City than there would be for Alabama. You don’t want California law imposing itself on Texas or Florida. It’s a different mindset. The people in the states should have the right to regulate firearms for the public good, public safety the way they want to.
Number One: If I’m the governor of any state and I pass a law that says all public schools should have armed guards on campus. There was an armed guard at the school in Broward County. But for some reason we don’t know why the armed guard never caught up with the shooter though, we’ll find out why. I don’t want to demonize the man, but there was one armed guard present at this high school. But all schools, public schools in this country, need to have armed guards (NOT armed teachers, that WILL NOT solve the problem) on campus. And I’d say at least two or three you got to have, now in this day and age.
Number Two: There should be watch lists like you know the no-fly lists that the federal government has, they don’t let the terrorists on planes because they are afraid they’ll blow up the planes. They’ve got to have gun watch lists in each state. So if you’re expelled from school as this boy was, and we think it’s for fighting, you go on a watch list. If you’re involved in an altercation, even though you’re not charged, but it’s a violent altercation; you go on a watch list, in your state. And that list is published for any gun dealer, unlicensed or license. If your name is on that list, you don’t get a gun. Now you can get off the list. You can appeal it, I don’t think that’s a lifetime ban. But there has got to be watch lists of people who are demonstrating bizarre behavior, mental deficiencies. That’s what President Trump said today. Now he’s going to have a big summit meeting, the President is, to bring in everybody. I’ll tell you right now you’re expelled from school, you’re involved in a violent altercation, anything like that. You don’t have to be charged and convicted. You go on a watch list and you can appeal it. But the authorities got to know, who is more likely to commit a violent act like this Nikolas guy.
Number Three: Nobody can buy a gun, unless you’re 21 years old. I mean it just makes sense, give the maturation process a chance though. No way this kid should have been able to buy a semiautomatic rifle and nobody knew about it. 21. You’ve also got plenty of loons at 21, but you know public safety demands it and then the mental health guidelines in each state have got to be explicitly passed by the legislators.
The Sheriff of Broward County, Scott Israel, said “look we (as in the police) need the power when we get a report of a guy or gal is acting very strangely to go in and interview that person, so we can ascertain if the person is a danger to the neighborhood.” (Of course I was paraphrasing there.) Those laws have to be very, very well spelled out. Because if you look, if you go back to all of the shootings, every one of them. It’s always a strange kid, young person, trouble, everybody knew he was trouble. Well the police have got to be aware of that. This isn’t a fascist state is you you’ve got to have common sense, And the states have got to define it.
I think that’s reasonable. I think that what I put forth today it extremely reasonable and nothing to serious extreme.
Everyone knows why the kid did it. The kid didn’t have anybody. All right the school threw him out he was expelled. He didn’t have any friends and any parents, and anybody looking out for him. He just snapped and here he got a big gun, and thought to himself “I’m going to go out and I’m going to take a lot of people with me.”
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. We have to do something, what we have now isn’t working. We need reform.
Now, with any massacre involving gun violence, I always quote a quote from President Ronald Wilson Reagan (as the country should turn to Reagan quotes more often for advice and how to create solutions to problems). I’m going to end the blog post with Reagan’s quote (which can also be applied to AR-15s, assault rifles, and semiautomatic weapons) as we, as Americans (NOT as Republicans or Democrats, or as conservatives or liberals, but as AMERICANS), need to figure out how to resolve this problem of mass shootings and need to figure out what is best for the safety of this great nation:
“I do not believe in taking away the right of the citizen for sporting, for hunting and so forth, or for home defense. But I do believe that an AK-47, a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon or needed for the defense of a home.”