Diary

Private citizens did the right thing; our public officials failed to do their jobs

Why the f(ornicate) do we need more gun control laws when the laws already on the books, ones which might have stopped Nikolas Cruz from buying a weapon, were never enforced?

What do we know about the Parkland school shooter?

  • Nikolas Cruz, 19, had been expelled from the school he has confessed to attacking and some students said they had joked “he’s the one to shoot up the school”.
  • One former schoolmate, Chad Reuters, told Reuters Mr Cruz was an “outcast” who was “crazy about guns”.
  • His interest in weapons was apparent on his social media profiles, which Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said were “very, very disturbing”.
  • Two separate Instagram accounts, now deleted, purport to show Mr Cruz posing with guns and knives.
  • After seeing a comment on a YouTube post last year by Mr Cruz, user Ben Bennight contacted the FBI and spoke to representatives for about 20 minutes. Mr Bennight said the FBI contacted him again following the school shooting in Parkland. The FBI confirmed on Thursday that they were made aware of the comment, adding that they had conducted “checks” but were unable to identify the person behind it.

The Washington Post reported that Mr Cruz had a disturbed childhood:

The killing began with the squirrels. As a fourth-grader, Nikolas Cruz would try to bloody them with his pellet gun. Then he started going after chickens.

By the time Cruz was a teenager, he was sneaking into his neighbors’ yard across the street and trying to get his dogs to attack their baby potbelly pigs.

One resident watched him take long sticks to rabbit holes, ramming them down as hard as possible to kill any creatures trapped inside.

Some in the affluent neighborhood where Cruz grew up said they called authorities on him frequently. Every few weeks, it seemed, police cruisers were pulling up to the teenager’s house to sort out the latest complaint.

Yet, despite numerous complaints to the police, Mr Cruz had neither an adult nor (reported) juvenile criminal record. He was able to purchase his weapon legally because he had a clean criminal record.

Cruz picked fights with other kids. He stole people’s mail. He threw rocks and coconuts and vandalized property, neighbors said. He lurked at late hours along drainage ditches running along the back yards of their houses. One woman said she caught him peeking into her bedroom window. Another caught him stealing their bike.

Really? Theft? Vandalism? Trespassing? Invasion of privacy? Yet he had no criminal record! People knew about this punk, and called the police on him, but if there were any charges ever brought against him, such have not (yet) been reported.

For years, (Malcolm) Roxburgh’s daughter Rhonda drove past Cruz in the morning as he waited for the school bus. One morning about four years ago, Rhonda Roxburgh said, Cruz suddenly attacked her car, slamming it hard with his backpack.

When she got out to confront him, Cruz simply laughed and sneered, so Roxburgh called the police. For the next few mornings, Rhonda Roxburgh said, police stationed an officer at the intersection to make sure Cruz didn’t attack or throw rocks at cars.

The police were involved with Mr Cruz, and it was reported that he had, in the past, been treated at a mental health clinic, but still nothing was done which would have, in any way, led to a record which would have shown up on a background check when he purchased the AR-15 he used to kill seventeen people. After past mass shootings, it was lamented, “Why didn’t somebody say something,” someone did say something, reporting Mr Cruz’s social media messages to the FBI, and the FBI did exactly nothing, nothing which would have put Mr Cruz on any type of list which would have raised a problem during his background check to purchase his weapon.

Private citizens did do something, they made complaints to the police, but, through whatever the police and prosecutors did, Mr Cruz was never convicted of anything. Ben Bennight reported Mr Cruz’s suspicious messages to the FBI, but the FBI didn’t do anything sufficient to prevent Mr Cruz from purchasing a firearm. He had been treated in a mental health clinic, but no record of that was ever made, in any form which would have restricted his Second Amendment rights.

Private citizens did the right thing; the failures were on the part of public officials. Yet it is the politicians, the public officials, who are calling for ever more restrictions of the rights of innocent people, because other public officials didn’t do their f(ornicating) jobs!

 

Almost as an aside, the inaction of the public officials brought to my mind the practice of some colleges of treating sexual assault as an internal matter. As I have previously noted, the ‘response’ of the Department of Education under President Obama to sexual assault claims was to push universities to set up administrative systems within the colleges, systems which made a mockery of due process, and were tilted in favor of those making sexual assault accusations, instead of turning such claims over to law enforcement. This had two effects:

  • It led to the punishment of students accused of sexual assault without any clear proof of guilt; and
  • Since the limit to which colleges could punish students accused of sexual assault was expulsion, it left any real rapists expelled out on the streets, where they could rape other women.

Of course, to the women in the university, the laundresses and convenience store clerks who remained as potential victims somehow weren’t as important as the coeds. Officials at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School expelled Mr Cruz, after Mr Cruz started a fight with his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend, but that simply expelled him onto the streets. Had they reported this assault, an actual crime, to the police, had prosecutors filed assault charges against Mr Cruz, he couldn’t have (legally) purchased an AR-15.

The same concern exists with colleges which do not turn over sexual assault complaints over to real law enforcement. If charges aren’t filed, real sexual assailants are left out on the streets, free to assault someone else.
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Cross-posted on The First Street Journal.