‘Blame game’ backlash as alleged Florida school shooter charged


The FBI has acknowledged receiving a tip about the Florida school shooting suspect months ago. (Screen capture, YouTube, Washington Post)

Alleged Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder, but some Miami Herald readers – pointing to reports that there were abundant warning signs about the suspect – are taking some of their wrath out on federal authorities rather than guns and the Second Amendment.

Readers commenting on the Miami newspaper’s website in response to this story have been brutal, and somewhat sarcastic. One reader observed, “The FBI knew about this guy, he had been reported…But the FBI was too busy chasing fake dossiers to bother.” Another wrote, “Maybe if the (sic) spend less time chasing Russian ghosts, they could prevent some of these.”

A third reader observed, “Perhaps if the FBI were more concerned with doing their jobs to protect US citizens instead of aiding US politicians to tear down elected officials that they don’t like they would have done something about this individual when they were told by citizens that they should take a look into him.”

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It did not take long for gun prohibitionists to rush to microphones or social media to begin pushing their political agenda following the shooting. Very quickly, anti-gun Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy took to the Senate floor to declare his colleagues must share the blame.

“This epidemic of mass slaughter,” Murphy said, as quoted by the Daily Beast. “This scourge of school shooting after school shooting. It only happens here, not because of coincidence, not because of bad luck, but as a consequence of our inaction. We are responsible for a level of mass atrocity that happens in this country with zero parallel anywhere else.”

By late Wednesday evening, anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action had apparently organized several events around the country. They sent an email blast that declared, “Thoughts and prayers aren’t enough… Right now, we have hundreds of local Everytown and Moms Demand Action events planned around the country, and local volunteer chapters are organizing more after today’s shooting.”

But they carefully did not offer any possible solutions to school shootings. The Associated Press quoted unidentified law enforcement officials who said the suspect legally purchased the semiautomatic rifle apparently used in the attack. Federal law allows the purchase of rifles and shotguns by anyone age 18 or older.

Many news agencies declared, apparently without checking their facts, that there have now been 18 school shootings this year. But that figure reportedly came from the anti-gun Everytown group, and it is already being challenged by the Daily Wire.

At least two of those incidents were suicides, the Daily Wire noted. Four incidents involved single bullets fired into school buildings through windows. One apparently involved an accidental discharge when a third-grade student pulled the trigger on a policeman’s sidearm at a Minnesota school. There was one incident on Jan. 31 at a Pennsylvania high school in which a 32-year-old man was fatally shot. Three other incidents involved student fatalities.

“So of the 17 ‘school shootings’ before Wednesday’s shooting,” the Daily Wire stated, “three students died; roughly 30-35 were injured.”

The aftermath of Wednesday’s tragedy appears to be closely following a gun control strategy detailed in a book co-authored by nationally recognized Second Amendment advocate Alan Gottlieb. “Dancing In Blood: Exposing the Gun Ban Lobby’s Playbook to Destroy Your Rights,” detailed how the gun prohibition lobby had prepared actual “playbooks” for community-based anti-gun activists to campaign for erosion of Second Amendment rights.


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