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Thoughts and Prayers, As Pointless as Outrage

| February 16, 2018

marjorie stoneman high school shooting

And again. (Elijah Manley/Twitter)

I’d like to be outraged by the latest massacre-by-gun in our schools. I’d like to be outraged by the fact that it’s the 239th school shooting since the Sandy Hook massacre-by-gun in 2012, that 438 people have been shot since, that 138 of them have been murdered. Just in schools. We’d need exactly 10  Vietnam Memorials to start enumerating the dead and injured from gunshots beyond schools since then.

pierre tristam column flaglerlive.com flaglerlive I’d like to be outraged as much by the word “ongoing” as by the substance of these lines, that “An ongoing Washington Post analysis has found that more than 150,000 students attending at least 170 primary or secondary schools have experienced a shooting on campus since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999. That figure, which comes from a review of online archives, state and federal enrollment figures and news stories, is a conservative calculation and does not include dozens of suicides, accidents and after-school assaults that have also exposed youths to gunfire.”

I’d like to be outraged by the way students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, like students at any of those schools that become a proving ground to this nation’s gun mania, are made to march out to safety arms raised like suspects before cops in military gear.


I’d like to be outraged at how “active shooter” training, like the evolving language of our cavalier mass-murder culture, has become a fad and a necessity, as gross and probably as useless as those ridiculous 1950s drills to prepare for a nuclear attack–as if huddling, locking doors or keeping quiet has ever been more effective than crouching under a desk would be if a nuke detonated: in Broward, the killer triggered a fire drill to better trap victims.

I’d like to be outraged by the violence captured in those viral videos in what’s supposed to be students’ safest haven, their classrooms turned into bloodbaths and the rest of their lives, for those who survive, marked by trauma they cannot erase.

I’d like to be outraged by how a 19 year old who’d signaled his pathological propensities for violence clearly enough to school officials and students that he was explicitly referred to as the guy who’d shoot up a school, if anyone would, a guy who’d been flagged to the FBI as a likely mass shooter at a school  as recently as a few weeks ago, a guy who reveled in pictures of dead animals and gun porn of his own making online for all to see, how this 19 year old could have ready access to an assault rifle and ammunition enough for his own private civil war.


We’re assuming that we’re still civilized. We’re assuming too much.


I’d like to be outraged by the mass of grief parents and students are suffering, and by the way these massacres-by-gun re-trigger memories of other massacres either too close to home or too recent to be forgotten as history, whether it’s the Pulse massacre in Orlando, the Fort Lauderdale airport killings, or the Las Vegas massacre.

I’d like to be outraged that a comprehensive and recent study found the United States to be “the most dangerous of wealthy nations for a child to be born into,” not least because it’s so easy for children to get shot here, as it isn’t in any other civilized nation: children between 15 and 19 are 82 times more likely to die from a gunshot here.  But then, we’re assuming that we’re still civilized.

We’re assuming too much.

Because for all the outrage I do feel over all that, I am even more outraged at the routine of it all, at the fact that the outrage has itself become a pose, as meaningless as those prayers and thoughts dished out as the default Hallmark cards of a nation too cowardly to do better.  “‘No Way to Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens,” The Onion had blared in 2014, a headline of sarcasm and truth in equal measure that demolishes any suggestion that the perversion is not preventable. Or that nations with fewer guns have fewer liberties: whatever factor you choose (electoral, press, economic or individual freedoms), we are well below the liberty coefficient of many of those nations anymore. But we can celebrate topping them in homicide, incarceration and infant and adolescent mortality rates.

I’m more outraged that the deadliest active shooters aren’t the ones running around our schools or shooting from hotel windows. They’re their enablers, their protectors and arms dealers, the gun freaks who think firearms are like motorcycles and double-D cups, to be posed with and lusted after, to be pranced with as untouchable sacred objects enshrined in the bogus guise of patriotic duty or homage to the Bill of Rights, as if the Second Amendment alone, the only amendment with the words “well regulated” explicitly plastered at its core, were immune to the balanced of reason and pragmatism, to regulation.

I’m more outraged at the public roles parents, families and friends of the dead will be forced to play as the murdered children become the latest pawns in America’s grimmest theater, when so-called dignitaries descend to offer a few words and find every possible way, as our own Dear Leader did Thursday, to blame anything but guns, a word he never mentioned when he finally spoke of the massacre, as if guns have nothing to do with it.

I’m more outraged by those gun freaks who, to take one example of their sleazy priorities, themselves are outraged that an AR-15, the assault rifle used in Wednesday’s massacre, would be referred to as an assault rifle–as it very much is, the NRA’s morbid sophistry aside–but couldn’t muster an iota of that energy to more constructive ends, like arguing with their lawmakers for more sensible gun-safety measures.

But those freaks are the very reason we have no sensible gun measures, why the ultimate, most pointless outrage is at our lawmakers, who stand in pools of blood as they tell us our gun epidemic has nothing to do with it. These freaks, these lawmakers, one and the same, are the reason gun porn wins, gun safety loses, and another massacre is not a matter of abstract time, but of days, and more usually hours.

Pierre Tristam is FlaglerLive’s editor. Reach him by email here or follow him @PierreTristam. A version of this piece aired on WNZF.

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65 Responses for “Thoughts and Prayers, As Pointless as Outrage”

  1. Steve Robinson says:

    Bravo, Pierre. I’m outraged that FL readers like “Old School” think the solution is to blame the victim. We do nothing to keep guns out of lunatics’ hands, and his solution, echoed by the gun lovers, is to sue the schools!?! The purpose of schools is to educate our young people; the purpose of government is to safeguard the health and welfare of its citizens. My solution? Acknowledge, as most sane Americans do, that there is no plausible reason for a civilian to own a semiautomatic weapon, handgun or long gun. Make it a Federal crime to own, borrow, sell, transfer or advertise for sale a semiautomatic weapon. Authorize a 30-day grace period during which anyone possessing these weapons can turn them in and receive fair value for them. After the 30-day period, you get caught with a semiautomatic weapon, and you’re not either a cop or on active-duty in the military, and you get 30 years in a Federal prison. Of course, the NRA, which is a lobby for gun manufacturers, not gun owners, will lament all those jobs lost in firearms factories. I have a solution for that too: They can be put to work building new prisons for firearm felons. Email your elected representative!

  2. Ken Dodge says:

    I am outraged every time I hear the phrase “so it can never happen again.” And is there a study to see how many mass-shooters were NRA members?

  3. Richard says:

    Pierre you can be outraged at whatever you choose as this is a free country that you chose to live in. HOWEVER I am more outraged at the FBI for not following up on a credible tip from a person in regards to the mass shooter at the Parkland School who wanted to be a professional killer and shoot up his school. Law enforcement officials have been telling people to be vigilant and if you see something out of the ordinary call the Tip Line. Well that only works if you have people that want to do their jobs and followup on these tips. It’s VERY unfortunate that people at the FBI dropped the ball on this like they have done numerous times in the past. The FBI needs to have their house cleaned out then install the people who will actually do what they were hired to do instead of sneaking around trying to unseat a sitting POTUS.

  4. Lou says:

    Power of the gun lobby is too great to control trade with guns.
    Money is more powerful than decency.

  5. Mark says:

    As if being “outraged” is going to solve the problem.Your retoritc does nothing to solve the problem. Misidentifying the problem does nothing to solve the problem. So continue with your agenda driven rants that do nothing to solve the problem. You are free to believe what you want. I for one will continue to pray.

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      Praying is fine. But it’s a self-serving narcotic if that’s all you do. They, for many more than one, will continue to shoot and murder, with your blessing. If outrage can give us Tom Paine, the tea party (the original one, not its adulterated progeny) and the American Revolution, it can certainly give us at least a way to more sensible gun safety. Certainly easier than getting rid of King George.

  6. Veteran says:

    The FBI dropped the ball. Probably too busy covering their asses over attempting to fix the election.
    The sicko who did this would have obtained a gun even if he couldn’t buy it legally.
    Once again, AR is an acronym for Armalite Rifle, not assault rifle. It’s the company that made the gun to replace the M-14 in Vietnam. I can fire a Glock 19 just as fast as a AR type rifle and it’s much easier to conceal.

  7. Diana L says:

    Ive started my response 5 times and have erased every one. I feel like I’ve said it all, I’ve felt it all. The only thing that I can offer myself and others, is Nov will be a time to vote all the coward politians that have taken blood money from the NRA, out of office. I hope that not many people have to die between now and then. This isn’t adequate, not even for myself but it’s all I have.

  8. knightwatch says:

    So now the right wing will attempt to blame the shooting on the FBI. Yes the FBI screwed up. Maybe they could have responded quickly to interview the shooter and possibly deter him. But that line of reasoning fails to account for the many other mass shootings with assault-like weapons. The single commonality of all of these shootings in rapid loading and firing weapons which have no use in our society. They are specifically designed to kill human beings.

    So, fix the FBI, tighten up the rules for spotting and dealing with people who exhibit a behavior that sets off alarms. But you won’t fix the problem until you come to an agreement to ban all assault-like weapons, period!

  9. Jason B says:

    We need to rename “school” as “uterus”, then maybe Republicans will care about the kids dying in them.

  10. Alan says:

    Blaming guns and gun regulation every time an atrocity like this happens is like blaming a spoon for people being fat. At the end of the day, it’s the person holding the weapon or spoon that is at fault. This kid and all the others like him will find a way to possess a weapon to carry out their warped plans. The signs outside school or any other place that proclaim “this is a weapon free zone” are inviting to these people. If the sign says “administration is armed and will use deadly force if needed” they would think twice….

  11. Priscilla says:

    Well done Pierre. I believe if we don’t wake up soon ‘this will indeed worsen. Yes, the FBI failed in their obligation to protect Americans and find potential criminals. No it’s not so simple as identifying the mentally ill either.
    It’s a multitude of areas and efforts starting with updating and regulating the purchase of assault weapons which should NEVER be in the hands of anyone but our military to protect OUR COUNTRY, while in uniform. It starts with our Presidents, PAST and Present, and OUR Congress. We must push this to be MOST critical on our collective agendas. I am ashamed and sickened that this is NOT the Highest of priorities. IT IS TIME to stop pointing fingers and Monday morning quarterbacking.
    We as a COUNTRY need to value LIFE MORE than the Second Amendment which sorely needs reconsideration and updating to today’s culture. My fear is we have not made any move in that direction while we continue to watch the most evil and senseless loss of life continue. We need constructive clear steps toward resolving these heinous events.
    I am grieving once again for all families present and past who have lost loved ones. I cannot imagine how horrific it would be to live with such a loss. Prayers for all these innocent victims and their loved ones. I also pray our citizens have had enough and pressure our country’s leaders to make several hard decisions to make us all safer.

  12. Gkimp says:

    Pierre, instead of being outraged, why don’t you run,down to the clerk of court’s office and do a little research. Take a look at the sentences for people who break our current gun laws, report back so we can all be outraged! More laws won’t do anything. Heavier sentences for law breakers will.

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      Gkimp, I see those “laws” in action every day in reports that stream across my desk: guy or gal gets Baker Acted for wanting to harm self or others, with guns. Next thing you know Halifax By law releases the individual, the Sheriff By law returns his or her arsenal, and privacy rules By law forbid the person’s mental breakdown from being a factor either in that arsenal ownership or in the further purchase of firearms or renewal of those sacred concealed weapons permits. Before you know it the individual is back to a hairtrigger situation with law enforcement also endangered as they yet again try to defuse the standoff in the middle of our neighborhoods without causing harm. But by god that individual’s second amendment rights prevail over all other stupid expectations of public safety, life and the pursuit of happiness being naturally subordinate to ammo and the pursuit of firearms. Thanks for playing Gimp, but this isn’t a damn game. You do a little research before pleasuring us with your gimpy attempt at gotcha keyboarding.

  13. Mark says:

    Pierre,

    Being outraged will solve nothing either. Nothing will stop a killer bent on killing from killing. Take away all you want to take away. Take their guns and they use a knife. Take their knife and they will use their car. Take their car and they will use matches. Take their matches and they will use poison. Take their poison and the will use explosives. Do you see the trend here? Your outrage does nothing. Taking peoples guns will do nothing. Making it more difficult to get a gun will do nothing. There are plenty of ways to illegally get a gun. Punishing responsible people by infringing on their right will not solve the problem. Would infringing on your right to free speech shut you up? I doubt it. Control is not the answer. Government is not the answer. People responding to the signs is the answer. Putting the necessary tools in the hands of law enforcement is the answer. Give law enforcement the power to jail or put these people in the hospital is the answer. Lower the threshold for jailing or detaining these people when the red flags pop up and that will go a long way to solving the problem. When investigating they should be required to check if the person has guns. But, even that won’t solve the problem. Making schools a hard target would go a long way to solving the school shooting problem. Holding parents responsible for not reporting these red flags could also help. People can buy guns off the street, like drugs. Good luck trying to get everyone’s guns. They are like nuclear weapons. Unless all are destroyed and the capability to make one is destroyed they will never go away. I don’t just pray, I carry. But not in schools. Sorry it doesn’t fit your agenda.

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      Mark, you’re wrong. Demonstrably so. Other nations have managed to protect gun ownership while controlling for safety. They’ve all but avoided mass shootings. Of course control is the answer. So are facts. But we’re immune to either here.

  14. MannyHM says:

    This dude has no business possessing a gun or any weapon for that matter. Good guns are needed to confront bad folks. I would suggest that truly concerned parents can group together and with the police confront trouble makers, bullies, and folks threatening others. Police and FBI can only react, not act.
    After the Chechen terrorist incident in Russia, some students were actually armed and trained to confront terrorists. Probably this is the reason as to why we don’t hear any mass shooting lately in Russia. A potential gunman knows that he’ll be neutralized right away. Need a lot of convincing to apply here. I wonder also if potential threats should be made public. Law enforcement should be able to search without warrant known ex-felon in person and in his or her dwelling.
    I find it unbelievable that this killer was able to get out unchallenged, untouched, and able to eat at MacD as if nothing had happened.
    A different scenario would have happened if a good guy with a gun confronted him thereby neutralizing him or at least putting him on the defensive. Less than 17 would have died and less number would have been hurt. We have fire extinguisher for fire, Automatic external defibrillator (AED) for heart attacks on site, but we don’t really have on hand to deal with a mass shooter !

  15. RickG says:

    The simple truth is that this person who had a lengthy police record of domestic calls to his home and was expelled from high school was still able to legally purchase this weapon of death. Why??? And Governor Scott I would like you to answer that question without the assistance of any NRA talking points.

  16. fredrick says:

    I grew up with guns. They were part of our life in rural America. Every pick up at the high school had a gun rack and that gun rack always had a gun in it. Guns were brought into shop class to customize and clean. The difference is we all respected the guns, we all took safety classes. Now any wack job can get a gun. Something has to change.
    Pierre I agree with your article but you need to dig deeper. You touched on it only lightly. The mass shootings are a tragedy but everyone needs to think about what happens everyday in our inner cities. Write articles like this when when innocent children, innocent people are killed everyday by guns every damn day. Show your outrage when we do nothing about drunk driving and people are slaughtered.

    @Knightwatch – the police were at that house 39 times in the last seven years. And for the FBI you say “MAYBE they could have responded quickly…” MAYBE?? Do you really want to use that word. MAYBE if a certain FBI would not be sending 50k text messages to his lover and was doing his job MAYBE this woudl not have happened. Jebus.. I cannot believe you used the word MAYBE.

    Stop blaming the ArmaLite rifle. It’s a friken rifle. Its made to look like a military rifle but just because it looks “scary” to you it is nothing but a rifle. If you want to blame something, blame bump stocks, high volume clips and such but it is just a rifle.

  17. Traveling Rep says:

    Yes, of course, how brilliant Pierre! It is gun control that will save us all. How reliably leftist of you to use this old, worn out miscalculation of blaming an inanimate object for a terrifying massacre like this.

    And you are obviously right, I mean look how well the heightened gun control laws are working out in Chicago…

    Lets say for a sec that we eliminated guns entirely. Wiped them from the face of the earth. Replace each anvery instance of the word “gun” in the article above with “knife” or “bomb” or “brick” or “acid spray”, etc.

    Does that mean that it would be appropriate to ban any of those objects?

    It’s time to call a spade a spade. This monster, like all the other school terrorists before him had serious behavioral/mental health issues that were never appropriately addressed. The fact that he had so many interactions with the law for domestic issues and was never identified as the threat he was is troubling.

    So, sure, go ahead and blame guns and other inanimate objects, I will blame his home life (adoptive or otherwise) for a lack of disciplinary actions early on and I blame a lack of societal/scholastic protocols to identify and create diversions for people like this, before it’s too late. Violent media does nothing to help matters with the youth these days. Nor does a seeming decline in participation in sports and other outdoor activities. Idle hands…

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      Traveling rep, I commend you for hitting almost all the Pavlovian clichés of the NRA’s propaganda chamber. Guns have nothing to do with it. Just as seatbelt laws—as fanatically resisted in their time with your kind of irreproachable logic—have nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with drastically reducing the number of road fatalities. I don’t think guns are the only inanimate objects in this discussion.

  18. a tiny manatee says:

    I’d say that the local law enforcement that visited his house 39 times over 7 years was probably a bit more responsible for this being overlooked than the supervisor of a FBI call center that screwed up a single called in tip. But then knowing and interacting with local law enforcement has taught me that they’ll do anything to avoid filling out paperwork.

  19. Layla says:

    When are we going to ban violent video games and movies? These kids are fed a constant diet of extreme violence and then everybody is shocked when they act out.

  20. BlueJammer says:

    Thank you, Pierre. You’ve said it all.

  21. beachcomberT says:

    People are saying vote out the state and federal lawmakers who support the gun lobby. But how many candidates or potential candidates are running on a pledge of gun control? Let’s have a list.

  22. Brian Riehle says:

    These school kids who are being murdered, while we and the politicians all stand by and do nothing about it, represent a new generation of Voters who will someday change the social order surrounding guns. It may take a generation but it’s going to happen. The Preamble to the Constitution has not been nullified by the Second Amendment, in spite of what the NRA thinks, and it’s time for our self serving politicians to realize that.

  23. eli zabeth says:

    children between 15 and 19 are 82 times more likely to die from a gunshot….we know the how…lets ignore the where and who is the major contributor of this stat. and it is not the law abiding gun owner.

  24. stjohnspatriot says:

    Weak half measures haven’t worked. The sale, possession and ownership of ALL semi-automatic weapons including handguns must be outlawed. The ability of anyone with the perverse will to mow down 50 people in a matter of ten minutes is a public health crisis. Thankfully, we have the template with the outlawing of automatic weapons decades ago. We can and must do this. To the gun nutz: George Washington was not born with an AR-15 in his arms. In fact the conical bullet and the smokeless cartridge we take for granted would have been science fiction to him as an old man. The 2nd Amendment doesn’t provide the right to semi-automatics. Sorry.

  25. Mark says:

    @Priscilla

    Tell that to everyone who has had an abortion.

  26. flagler1 says:

    Sadly nothing will change.

  27. Pogo says:

    @A view from a passenger seat window of an NRA Citation flying over Floriduh provides good news

    Dear Wayne,

    Nothing to sweat about. You were right about these suckers (ha ha you’re always right) the slim hammer is passing out the candy to tricky ricky, big pam, and that undertaker in the senate that shines your shoes. The gang are all over this so-called mass murder: They’re gonna spend a rounding error of our boys’ blood money profits to bulldoze the building so they can pretend the victims won some kind of award from God. Best part of that? All the victims and future victims are footing the tab with their own taxes. Sweet – huh?

    Dumb ass stopped off on its way to its country club and rambled some nonsense about how impressed it was that men and women who actually are courageous, well trained, well qualified; and decent human beings were managing an incredible disaster/tragedy with calm skill and humble grace. Maybe his being the total opposite of them inspired his amazement. Aw hell, who cares – as long as it begs, barks and plays dead when you snap your claws.

    Sometimes I have to pinch myself to remind me that some people here actually elected those freaks. Of course we can never thank paranoid racist old white men enough: They gladly make human sacrifices of their own grandchildren as the accepted price of enormous detachable magazines for the military rifles they buy to protect them from the shadows on the walls of their empty hearts and skulls.

    That’s all for now – cheers – it’s hammer time. Here’s blood in our eyes!

  28. r&r says:

    I’ve heard when gun controls are put in the good people turn them in and the bad guys don’t which then puts us on an uneven playing field. Chicago has the strictest gun control system in the country and also leads the country in the most murders and has for years.

  29. Peaches McGee says:

    Today I performed a simple gun test this morning.

    I placed my gun on one of the front porch chairs. I pointed it towards the street. I left it alone for 6 hours.

    In those 6 hours my gun did not kill anyone.

  30. Anon says:

    Today I performed a simple vehicle test this morning.

    I parked my car in the driveway facing the street. I left it alone for 6 hours.

    In those 6 hours my car did not kill anyone.

    By that logic, let’s reverse seat belt laws and car seats for children, regulations regarding airbags, and all the improvements to roadways that reduce fatalities on the road. Not needed. Cars don’t kill people. People do.

  31. mark101 says:

    Yes I’m outraged, there are way to many things that kill people these days, criminals that if guns are removed, will find a way to do harm to others. Timothy McVeigh used a truck loaded with fertilizer, my wife was in that building. IN this day and age, there is absolutely no need to have an assault style rifle. I did my tours 19 years in the military and used a M16, I have no use for that weapon around my home. I ask myself, what are these “users” waiting on some invasion to occur, well its not going to happen, its called nuclear war. Makes me sick that we cannot protect our own children in school or in a chruch, or a concert, or a movie theater. But on another item, I’m also outraged by the drunk fools that drive our roads and kill on an average 10,000 people a year and that includes men women and children. Some people these days have no respect for human life. Our government needs to grow a pair and step up to the plate and do something instead of kissing the ass of the NRA and the alcohol companies. STOP THE MADNESS

  32. Anonymous says:

    If it were not for the liberals the school would not have been a gun free zone. if the football coach had his gun and he has a weapons permit and trained with his good friend the sheriff and was a Exalent marksmen. just think what might have changed if he were allowed to carry his weapon in school. Until things change teachers who want to train and carry concealed in our schools should be allowed to a brave teacher confronting a armed person does not stand a chance against a armed killer if they can’t carry a gun to protect the self or the students. Teachers carry in Israel were guns are like dog pop and school shootings never happen so until the laws change lets do away with gun free zones and let the Qualified teachers who want to carry concealed do so.

  33. woodchuck says:

    Outlawing drugs has worked so well.

  34. Peaches McGee says:

    “Cars don’t kill people. People do”

    Exactly. Guns don’t kill people. People do.

  35. Conform&Control says:

    I’m outraged that you fail to see that most mass shootings happen in gun-free zones. I’m outraged that in a gun free zone, you’re essentially a sitting duck. I’m outraged that if you think creating more laws against owning a gun will fix this, because you know… criminals follow the law. Wake the hell up.

  36. Jim says:

    I am a 45 year old life long Republican and have NEVER voted for a Democratic candidate but as of today I will not support any single candidate that is not in favor of gun control and receives any support from the NRA. Enough is enough there is no reason to own a weapon like an AR-15 other than to cause maximum damage. I know too many gun fanatics that should not own weapons in my option. Get over your love affair with guns!!!

  37. Jack Howell PhD. says:

    Who’s to blame? We are all to blame. The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. should be a final wake up call to the citizens of our nation that these acts of random violence and killing must stop and stop now. The hand-wringing and blame placed on federal and local law enforcement for not seeing the “red flags” of a potential incident is not the answer! We are the answer. Yes, we!
    The old saying that it “takes a village to raise a child” comes to mind. We, as a nation, must unite much as we have done in the past when horrendous incidents have occurred in our communities. Think about the unity this country shared immediately after the 9-11 attacks. The law enforcement campaign for citizen awareness “see something, say something” must be continuously stressed to all of our citizens and their children. Some of the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School knew the shooter. They paint a picture that sounds all too familiar with other shooters profiles. Some interesting statements have been made both to law enforcement and to the media have suggested that Nikolas Cruz, was strange, a loner and exhibited signs of depression and withdrawal. The question begs “how did he purchase the AR-15? I am a former child abuse investigator for the Florida Division of Children and Family Services(DCF). I was not shocked that DCF failed a follow through on Cruz. But enough about DCF and their poor services and leadership. What has alarmed me, was that a DCF caseworker investigating an incident in 2016 when Cruz cut himself on SNAPCHAT stated in their report that “Mr. Cruz has fresh cuts on both his arms.” The report goes on to further state that “Mr. Cruz stated he plans to go out and buy a gun. It is unknown what he is buying the gun for.” Why was the ball dropped? Was law enforcement made aware of this? Did the high school administrators become aware of Cruz’s mental issues and report it?
    The blame scenario will grow in the coming days and months. The 2nd Constructional Amendment will be on center stage. However, I believe that the 1st Amendment must share the stage also as the CEO’s of the various social media outlets need to be held accountable. These social media network CEO’s must make law enforcement aware when posts, tweets, etc. indicate a potential for harm. Yes, I firmly believe in the 1st Amendment. I was wounded in action while protecting our Rights. But, the old saying that you can speak your piece anywhere and anytime does not give you the right to yell “FIRE” in a movie theater. There will be screams from the public that no one should be allowed to have a weapon. Weapons should be outlawed. This extreme has no ground as only the bad will have guns. Just like with illegal drugs. Coke, meth, heroin, oxy, and other drugs are prohibited by law. You can still buy them from the underground sources!
    So, while our do-nothing Congress and other elected officials go to the knee-jerk mode and point fingers, we can’t rely on them period! Do you think Congresswomen Wasserman-Shultz, Waters or Senator Rubio have clue? Your wrong. The answer is that WE, the public, must start becoming more aware of our surroundings, co-workers, friends, students, etc. and report questionable behavior to authorities. See something, say something!

  38. Pogo says:

    @Jack Howell PhD.

    We are all? No. And hell no. I am not we. The rest of US aren’t we.

    The NRA and the Republican party are not going to be allowed to blend into the crowd this time. Those kids that saw their friends and teachers blown to bits, and that is exactly what happened, aren’t going to give the NRA and the Republican party a pass this time. The closed casket funerals of the rifleman’s victims; and their school building being demolished are what they are. Those are the results of a weapon of war – not the banquet size word salad you’ve dumped on the table. They, i.e., the survivors: all their families, loved ones, and all the rest of US know it. This time – time is up.

    Paying for funerals and turning the scene of the crime into a memorial won’t eliminate the scars or return those who were lost. It is literally the least that the Republican politicians who run this state can do, and It’s not nearly enough. The bill is due in full NOW.

  39. Just Thinking says:

    I have no problem with responsible people owning firearms.
    I have no problem with responsible people carrying firearms in their everyday lives.
    I have no problem with the licensing of and requiring the secure storage of firearms.
    What I do have a problem with is the belief that you can legislate morality.
    It doesn’t work. You can write as many laws as you can think up,
    covering almost any situation that can be imagined, but enforcing those laws is impossible.
    Firearms are manufactured and sold worldwide to government and private entities
    for use in politics by other means, internal security and self defense. There is no way
    to prevent those weapons from being sold, lost or stolen and entering the black markets.
    Anyone in the world can purchase almost any kind of weapon, if they have the cash.
    It can’t be stopped, it can’t be prevented by laws, as where there is a demand
    someone always finds a way to profit from it. People always do what they want,
    no matter how many laws are written. We have laws against almost every harmful behavior,
    yet all those behaviors continue to occur, over and over again. Expecting that to change by
    writing more laws is unlikely. Drunk drivers continue to drive drunk.
    Addicts continue to harm themselves and others. Abuse of children still happens.
    So many people living in close context means the chances of negative interactions occurring
    are skyrocketing. All it takes is one negative interaction too many, to push an individual
    from annoyed or angry to enraged. Expecting someone who is mentally unstable and enraged
    to where self preservation no longer matters to obey mere words on paper is foolish.
    Verbal, physical and emotional abuse, bullying, failure to think of how personal behavior
    affects those around us can all trigger irrational and violent behavior. We see it on the road,
    in our homes, the workplace, anywhere people interact.
    Legislate all you want. It won’t stop the violence, it won’t change human behavior.
    They are moral choices and many prefer to ignore morality.

  40. Rick Kang says:

    Time to outlaw AR-15 type guns because they are only used for hunting humans! True hunters use rilfes and shotguns. Pistols are excellent are excellent for self defense and target shooting! Remember, AK-47 was designed in the USSR during WWII. AK-47,AR-15,etc,etc are designed to be used in War ONLY!

  41. Maxandsen says:

    Thank you Pierre

    I feel like everything has been said before but nothing changes. Hopefully 2018 will bring the change we so desperately need. Other countries do not have this problem, the one and only difference is gun laws. #nonramoney

  42. Lilly Makarov says:

    Well put Mark, agree completely

  43. Marlee says:

    Maybe…..just maybe…this time the children will lead.
    ~~~~~imagine~~~~

  44. beachcomberT says:

    Thanks, Dr. Howell. It is fine to keep lobbying for stricter laws restricting sales and ownership of automatic weapons. But in the meantime we also have to take action at the local level. School boards and police departments should talk to each other to find ways to beef up security. Every school board should be having an emergency meeting this month to focus on what can be done asap. No one measure will make every school completely safe, but I think metal detectors, more mental health training for all teachers, and adding more psychologists and mental health counselors could help. What are the teacher unions and the PTA chapters saying? How about involving the high school student councils? DCF social workers are too few and too overworked to be our only safety net. We need vigilance and follow-up in each school. Suspending a gun-carrying kid for a day or a week solves nothing. Intervention is needed both for the kid and his family.

  45. smarterthanmost says:

    @ Pierre: “An assault rifle is a rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge, has the capacity to switch between semiautomatic/fully automatic fire and a detachable magazine. Assault rifles are currently the standard service rifles in most modern armies.”

    The AR-15 is not this weapon.

    @ Jack Howell PhD.: “The answer is that WE, the public, must start becoming more aware of our surroundings, co-workers, friends, students, etc. and report questionable behavior to authorities. See something, say something!”

    Well said, however, it appears the FBI is too busy taking over the government to bother with protecting it’s citizens.

  46. capt says:

    The only way to fix this is to vote out these lifers in Congress. Term limits must take place or nothing will ever get accomplished. Big money is getting people elected these days, not common sense.

  47. john says:

    our country must turn to JESUS ..HE is the only answer!!

  48. fredrick says:

    I will only believe you people are serious about it when you are OUTRAGED about every child, person killed EVERYDAY in our inner cities. Why does it take one single shooting to make you people upset? Where are you every other day of the year?

  49. MannyHM says:

    The police and FBI can not act, only react. Crime has to happen first. Parents as a group with the local police should confront trouble makers, bullies, and distractions to the education of their children. Time and again we read such tragedies, she’d a tear, and say a prayer. Such prayers should translate into actions otherwise it becomes a sin of omission.

  50. johng says:

    you know if guns are outlawed, then it will start a huge black market, to the point guns won’t even be traceable ! What needs to be done is having it highly regulated.

  51. Jack Howell says:

    @Pogo
    Reality check! Sorry to disagree Pogo. But, whether you like it or not, you are a we! We are all to blame. Republicans, Democrats and the Non Political Party groups. Until WE push our lame-ass Congress to make change, each and everyone of us are to blame. How come it has become very difficult these days to pill shop…get several prescriptions for the same drug only to find out that the pharmacies are aware of what you are attempting to do and report you to authorities yet we can’t do this for weapon purchases if you have been diagnosed with a mental issue (s)? Until WE demand that Congress unite and get their heads out of their ass, I see no real solutions.

  52. Kevin Sutton says:

    Unfortunately we will probably have to wait until there are more victims than NRA members for change.

  53. Pogo says:

    @Jack Howell

    So we’ve both had a say, and I stand by mine.

    I believe WE do have goals in common.

    Good day.

    @The rest of US who have been, for many years, speaking out and voting against the servile cowards the NRA bribes with blood money

    Now is the time. To borrow a phrase or two – aim small, miss small. Make every vote count.

  54. gmath55 says:

    They are not going to outlaw ghost guns!

  55. Dennis Dumas says:

    I am outraged at your outrage! When something like this happens! But not a single one of you have the intestinal fortitude to do anything about it. In your blind stumper you feel that tightening restrictions on guns is the only answer! How ignorantly this logic is!
    Gun free zones is the problem, like sitting ducks waiting to be picked off one by one. In the statistics you failed to mention how many police stations suffered mass shootings, a fact that proves your gun free zone a complete fallicy! People like Cruz will only prey on unarmed helpless victims. Removal of guns from our society will only increase the number of mass shootings in places were evil seeking, mentally disturbed people can take advantage of helplessness.
    I hold the teachers, students responsible for this massacre, they have the blood of every student killed on their hands. They felt that expulsion was the solution to the problem, when in reality it was contributory.
    I hold the local police and more importantly the chief of police responsible, 39 times the police were called to Cruz’s house, but nothing done. I hold the FBI responsible for their gross failure to protect American citizens,by their incompetence. And I hold this publication responsible for its fake outrage, without offering a solution that would work! This is the liberal mentality in this country which is destroying the culture that made this country great. Let’s consider arming teachers with proper training, employing former military and police to provide security in our schools! It’s our responsibility to protect our kids, without the proper tools how can this be accomplished! It would be like sending our troops into battle without a means to defend themselves, an effort our former wuss-n-chief obama was proficient at, with his rules of engagement. One fact is clearly evident, liberalized is a mental disorder, and those who ascribe to it should not be listened to, there includes you Pierre!

  56. Pogo says:

    @Jack Howell asked

    Question: “…How come it has become very difficult these days to pill shop…get several prescriptions for the same drug only to find out that the pharmacies are aware of what you are attempting to do and report you to authorities yet we can’t do this for weapon purchases if you have been diagnosed with a mental issue (s)?…”

    Answer: The NRA and the Republican party – they’ve literally made it illegal. Not all of us, just them, i.e., the NRA and the Republican party.

    While we’re on the subject, why the focus only on physicians and patients, while ignoring drug companies:

    West Virginia Town of 3,000 Received 21 Million Opioid Pills Over 10 Years
    https://futurism.com/west-virginia-town-3000-received-21-million-opioid-pills-10-years/

    Answer: The Republican party.

    Question: Why don’t we have a national-driver-license/personal-identification-card/voter-registration-card? After all, MasterCard, VISA, et al., and the credit bureaus already use one to manage that which is valued well above human life and dignity – money. Maybe you’ve heard of money. There is nothing else on earth that commands the accuracy of its records that money does. Why not keep track of voting registration as one more database field?

    Answer: The Republican party, with the help of the NRA, Right To Life, and other single issue voters give the one percent, aka the Republican party, a strangle hold on election management. If we had voter registration – as easy and quick as a credit check – we might actually have a majority of people eligible to vote able to vote too! Find an elected Republican that supports that. You won’t, the impossible is just that.

  57. Sometimesiwonderwtf says:

    Maybe there could be some kinda way to screen the ppl who want to buy a gun for the crazy that will make them kill?

  58. Dan Potter says:

    Pierre, what you say is true. The political answer to all of this is no answer at all. In order to have a mass shooting you must have a mass. No mass shooter wants to kill just one person. How does a lunatic get into a school to do this unspeakable deed. The answer is we let them in.

  59. palmcoaster says:

    If not for the easy way Cruz got the AK15 which to me is like a machine gun, we won’t be mourning 17 of our innocent students and teachers. Lets stop blaming only mental health, TV or Video Games, cell phones, education, parents, the FBI and any other lie.
    Why do we have to have a battlefield weapon in our homes and so easy to get without proper background check? Sure is not for hunting animals but people instead! Our 2nd Amendment is grossly misinterpreted as was written is the times that people had muskets not machine guns alike AK 15’s.
    We need a ban on assault weapons and high power magazines and stricter background checks for all buyers of any firearm. Lets show support for our students victims voting out all the 71 legislators in Tallahassee that do not care for our children safety in our schools or any of of us anywhere.

  60. Randy Jones says:

    “The peaceable part of mankind will be continually overrun by the vile and abandoned while they neglect the means of self-defense. The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The balance of power is the scale of peace. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside…. Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them; . . . the weak will become prey.”
    ― Thomas Paine

  61. Seriously says:

    Stanks

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