I live nine miles from Parkland, Florida. Weeks after a young shooter murdered 14 students and three staffers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, I wrote that Democratic policies had helped enable the atrocity. One year later, few have been held accountable, but the Democrat anti-gun cult has strengthened.
Most of the same dysfunctional officials in charge at the time of the shooting are still running the show in Broward County, which is Florida’s version of New York City and San Francisco. There is one positive exception: Broward sheriff Scott Israel was removed last month from his post by newly elected Gov. Ron DeSantis. Israel, whose monthly salary was $16,000, will appeal his exile.
Parkland was a perfect storm of collective failure: the FBI failed to follow-up tips on the shooter on several occasions; Obama school discipline rules, enacted without Congress’s approval and designed apply discipline policies unequally to minority students, peddled lax disciplinary standards for troubled students; the Broward County Public Schools were aware, for more than a year, of the eventual murderer’s school-shooting obsession; and Israel’s deputies not only failed to act on several tips about the shooter’s alleged violent tendencies, they also failed to act the day of the massacre. Post-Parkland, Israel proclaimed himself an “amazing” leader.
Democrats’ Tragedy Rorschach Test
In the aftermath of such a shocking event, it is somewhat difficult to imagine how it happened in real time, as law enforcement and Parkland officials were receiving tips and statements from the shooter’s classmates. Although in a smaller scale than the September 11, 2001, radical Islamic terrorist attacks, the same questions were asked about Parkland: what went wrong, and how do we prevent this from happening again?
It’s accurate that local law enforcement were somewhat limited in their ability to stop the shooter, due to state laws that make it difficult for police to arrest those who make threats against non-family members, or non-specific targets (there is proposed legislation to broaden law enforcement’s preemptive powers).
How Democrats respond to tragedies is their Rorschach test. The legacy of Broward’s schools, its Superintendent Robert Runcie, and Israel is that they’ve attempted to cover up their egregious incompetence by exploiting the tragedy to further infringe upon our God-given, constitutionally guaranteed Second Amendment rights. Runcie claimed he was unaware of the young man’s threats to shoot up the school, an astounding admission considering that Broward schools have the highest rate of students who brandish weapons on school grounds amongst all South Florida school districts.
Some Parkland parents allowed their traumatized kids to jump into immediate political activism, and fed them the usual Democrat Media Industrial Complex lies, myths, and conspiracy theories. The sycophantic media fawned all over them. We shouldn’t be angry at the kids. They’ve been duped into believing they’re gun policy and Bill of Rights experts, who really know what James Madison meant when he penned the Second Amendment.
‘It Takes a Village’ Endangers Children
Parkland is a city of 24,000 mostly upper-middle-class and affluent whites. While it’s not quite as blue as the rest of Broward, it’s still primarily a Democrat city. Its mayor and city council are nonpartisan (although we know there’s really no such thing as nonpartisan), but its state senator, state house representative, and U.S. representative are all Democrats. You’ll recall Rep. Ted Deutch’s appearance at CNN’s town hall a few weeks after the shooting, which gave him a prime-time platform to promote his “weapons of war” nonsense.
I am in no way suggesting that the Parkland community “got what they deserved.” As a parent of two daughters, their anguish is unfathomable to me. What I am saying is that the Parkland shooter should have never been able to make his way onto the school grounds, because he didn’t attend the school. If a district can’t stop known potential violent offenders, why should anyone trust it to stop unknown potential offenders?
My sampling’s small, but in 10 conversations with Parkland parents, I asked if they would have agreed, pre-school shooting, with moderate to heavy security at all entry and egress points on the Marjory Stoneman campus. Everyone told me “no”; such security is found only in schools in the ghetto, they said, and Parkland ain’t the ghetto—not with a household median annual income of $131,340.00, and an estimated median house value of $596,212.00, according to the 2016 U.S. Census.
Those parents also told me that complete strangers still have unhindered access to school grounds most of the day, save for the occasional patrol of local police and school resource officers. What about armed teachers, one of the recommendations of the Parkland commission report?
I am sympathetic to parents’ ambivalence about armed teachers. But for the Obamas and Clintons and Bloombergs of America, who adamantly oppose armed teachers and access to firearms for school personnel, why is it that when they visit a school, hospital, or place of worship, they insist on having their Secret Service detail or armed bodyguards accompany them? It’s impossible to know, but if an armed teacher or staffer had been in the shooter’s immediate vicinity when he began opening fire, chances are he would have been stopped, and there would have been zero, or fewer, victims.
The Parkland mass shooting was especially unnerving because it occurred in a place it wasn’t “supposed” to—namely, a tony, “progressive” white Democrat locale. Shootings in Baltimore, Newark, Chicago, or some other city run by super-majority Democrat rule for tens of thousands of consecutive days? Business as usual; just another day in the ghetto.
“It takes a village” results in kids killing kids. Republican communities are in no way immune to violent crime, of course, but time and time again, we’ve seen that Democrat policies are correlated with more dangerous and chaotic environments.
Are School Shooters Everywhere?
The Parkland shooter legally purchased his firearm, but the vast majority of gun-related crime is committed by those illegally possessing guns. So more gun laws won’t check them. The same student who told the school district about the murderer’s shooting threat told police after the shooting that he had planned to purchase a firearm privately. Had she told this detail to the school district, would it have made any more of a difference? Doubtful.
When threats of school shootings are made, especially by those with a troubled history, should they be monitored by law enforcement, with evidence-based warrants? Fifth Amendment and 14th Amendment due process and equal protection are guaranteed rights. Had all agencies paid more attention to this young man, I believe they would have likely prevented the horror of February 14, 2018, without having violated his constitutional rights.
In the Broward village, locals haven’t done much over the years to protect innocent kids from problem children. Youth victimization is always rampant in municipal Democrat monopolies. Just look at the coincidence of gang and school violence and Democrat rule. I hope and pray Broward and Parkland residents figure this out quickly, before more innocent children suffer.