In The Wake Of The Parkland Shooting, Focus On Action and Reform – Not Politics

The 17 victims of Parkland.

Two and a half weeks have passed since the Parkland shooting and with the supercharged pace of the frenetic news cycle, the tragedy is already slipping into the background.

Unsurprisingly, the discussions surrounding the shooting have been politicized and uncompromising. For the most part, calls to action have been nothing short of unrealistic, childish demands.

On February 26, David Cicilline (D-RI) introduced the Assault Weapons Ban of 2018 which would:

…prohibit the sale, transfer, production, and importation of:

  • Semi-automatic rifles and pistols with a military-style feature that can accept a detachable magazine;
  • Semi-automatic rifles with a fixed magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds;
  • Semi-automatic shotguns with a military-style feature;
  • Any ammunition feeding device that can hold more than 10 rounds.

In short, this ban would make just about every gun that isn’t a single-fire pistol, rifle, or shotgun illegal. Semi-automatic weapons cover a very wide spectrum of firearms seeing as how they’re essentially classified as a gun that reloads itself after being fired providing there are cartridges in the firearm’s feed device.

Not to mention, 10 rounds translates to 10 single pieces of ammunition able to be fed into a gun; so any firearm that is able to carry more would also be banned under Cicilline’s bill. Of course, CNN and other flunky mainstream media outlets are touting Cicilline’s bill as the end-all, beat-all solution…

Instead of opting for reactionary, kneejerk prohibitions; we should opt for re-enforcing the common-sense steps that were ignored in regards to Parkland…

Mental health awareness and action

It is an understatement to say there were red flags in regards to the school shooter that killed 17 in Florida.

Mental health is oft ignored in America, although teens today are facing a mental health crisis. Depression, anxiety, and isolation among children are shrugged off and not taken seriously. Where I do not believe an over-medicated nation of teenagers is the answer, I do believe recognition and awareness of the problem could go a long way to solving it.

Lest we forget, the shooter who killed 12 at an Aurora movie theater in 2012 purportedly thought Barack Obama was talking to him through a television, according to his lawyer. The shooter who killed 9 at a Tennessee Church in 2015 “heard voices and had visions in his head.”

Reform the NICS, use the current systems in place for prevention

The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is a good practice in theory; however, when it fails, people who are obviously mentally ill are able to legally buy weapons.

The aforementioned Tennessee Church shooter was able to buy a .45-caliber weapon when the NICS should have prevented him from buying it, a fatally-deadly lapse by the FBI and local law enforcement.

In regards to Parkland, it’s been revealed that Florida is failing to report names to databases so the mentally ill could potentially slip through the cracks and purchase firearms. Another person who killed 26 at a Texas Church was able to legally purchase guns after his history of domestic violence wasn’t entered in the NICS.

The Parkland shooter exhibited numerous warning signs, at least 8 incidents – with one as recent as January of 2018, a month before the shooting – that were not taken seriously by local authorities and the FBI.

While the “Fix NICS” bill will help, “reform” of the system will likely only yield limited results, as Free Market Shooter’s Sam Bocetta has previously pointed out:

While liberals have ruthlessly criticized the NRA and any politicians who receive donations from it, often going so far as to blame both any time a mass shooting occurs and say that the blood is on their hands, the NRA has argued that what we need is enforcement of current gun laws. And now, those on the left are supporting a bill that does exactly that.

Is the Fix NICS Act a step in the right direction? It could work well, but this isn’t the first time we’ve been down this road. After the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007, there was the NICS Improvement Amendments Act. Here we are 10 years later, and once again, we’re focusing on making NICS actually work for its intended purpose.

Reforming NICS isn’t a silver bullet, but it is a step towards ensuring firearms cannot be legally purchased by prohibited individuals.  

Reform the FBI and unthinking, “yes man” police culture

Accountability for America’s public officials no longer exists. To say there was systemic failure in part of the FBI and local law enforcement doesn’t begin to cover the surface of the warning signs displayed by the Parkland shooter… meaning the slaughter of innocent children was entirely preventable.

Instead of throwing the bill of rights to the wayside, perhaps the rot, incompetence, and corruption of the FBI and crooked police leadership showcased in Broward should be destroyed and reformed.

Three armed sheriffs deputies stood idly as the Parkland shooting took place. I cannot say how I would react to an active shooter situation – but then again, I am also not a deputy of the law. The unwillingness to enter the building – as a team of 3, even against an AR-15 – showcases the true cowardice of Broward leadership.

Furthermore, Daniel Shaver was shot and killed in 2016 by a police officer wielding an AR-15 in Mesa, Arizona. Shaver was compliant, unarmed and on his knees – and even begged for his life. Intoxicated and being told to crawl to the officer, Shaver made the mistake of putting his hand anywhere near the waistband of his pants (probably trying to pull them up) and was shot dead.

Why wasn’t Shaver detained with handcuffs and neutralized as any possible threat if the officer was that fearful for his life?

Reform and accountability would prevent tragedies and save lives. To ignore what went catastrophically wrong with Parkland – and countless other mass shootings – is to ignore the true answer.

Before we strip away a fundamental right as defined within our Constitution, we should hold leaders accountable and take warning signs seriously.

The Parkland shooting was not the first time where “red flags” went ignored and resulted in tragedy – and if we don’t recognize the truth of the situation, it won’t be the last.