This is an article that I wrote back in February. In light of the recent tragedy that happened in California yesterday, I thought it would be a good time to bring it back out and air it. We want to hear what you think down in the comments section.
As unfortunate as it is to say, in the United States no tragedy goes unused as fodder for political agendas by both politicians and mainstream media alike. Equally as unfortunate is that everyone seems to suffer extreme cases of tunnel vision immediately after tragedy strikes and they are unable to see the facts that get uncovered in the aftermath. These facts are crucial to understanding the issues that plague our nation.
Part of understanding them though is realizing that there aren’t only laws and regulations in place to prevent tragedies, but there are government agencies formed with the intent and means to prevent them. On top of that, there are even hotlines formed for citizens to alert these agencies to potential issues. I cannot say that there are not any issues in the United States, but I can say that they aren’t what the politicians and the media are saying they are. Sadly, to explain the points I have to use two tragedies; the Parkland School Shooting and the San Bernardino, CA shooting of 2015, along with some “eyewitness” accounts.
The Parkland School Shooting could have been prevented up to a year in advance, but it wasn’t. It wasn’t prevented because of government agencies dragging their feet and the aforementioned hotlines not being monitored. To begin, local law enforcement had been called to Nikolas Cruz’s residence some 39 times since 2010. CNN (just bear with me, I know some of you hate CNN) was able to get information on these calls; most were logged as “no written report”, the others ranged from “mentally ill person(s)” and “domestic disturbance” to “child/elderly abuse” and “missing persons”.
Other sources have found out that these calls showed a trend for violent behavior including threatening and beating his mother. There is more information out there on this disturbed individual, but I think this summary paints the picture well. On top of this, Nikolas had a history of depression and supposedly he had been prescribed anti-depressants, however, a psychologist had labeled him as not being a danger to himself…or others even though he had been cutting himself among other things.
Before I continue, it must be mentioned that if someone has a psychological disorder there is supposed to be a flag thrown on their background for when they go to purchase firearms (this is to my understanding). If he bought his AR-15 at a gun shop I have to question why the ATF allowed the purchase to go through, or why there wasn’t a flag on his background if there wasn’t. Essentially…I’m saying that the system failed, a system that would work if it was used like it was meant to be.
Beyond local authorities having been called to the shooter’s residence multiple times the FBI had been tipped off quite a few times. One of the tips came from a YouTuber. In September the YouTuber told the FBI about a comment made by someone with the screen-name of “Nikolas Cruz”. The comment read something along the lines of “I will be a professional school shooter.” The FBI claims that they investigated, however, they also (the FBI) claimed that they could not locate the commenter or their location. I find it very unlikely that the FBI did in fact investigate, as the account and comment were not deleted until Wednesday along with Cruz’s other social media accounts (which were filled with equally disturbing content).
The YouTuber who alerted the FBI has also reached out to several media outlets to say that they are just now calling with follow-up questions. The FBI also received another tip on January 5 of this year which they also failed to follow-up on. One can speculate that the FBI failed to follow-up because they are too busy with their own scandals and trying to gain political favor in D.C.
As we move to the San Bernardino shooting, I want to discuss some transgressions made by another government agency, this agency being the ATF. In late 2017 it was outted that the ATF was attempting to catch law abiding gun owners selling to people who they shouldn’t sell to…by posing as the people that they shouldn’t be selling to (if this were any other agency, this would be called entrapment). The ATF attempted to lure in legal firearm owners to make sales that weren’t legal over 30 times and every single time they (the ATF) failed to entrap a legal gun owner.
You may be familiar with this next one’s name… Operation Fast and Furious, unfortunately this wasn’t just another movie. Operation Fast and Furious was conducted by the ATF between the years of 2009 and 2011 and involved some 2,000 firearms. F&F allowed gun shops to sell firearms illegally to people who would have otherwise been denied the sale. Whether or not the intent of this operation was good or bad, the ATF allowed gun shops to sell firearms illegally to felons. As of 2012 only 720 of these firearms have been recovered, most of which were only recovered after a crime had been committed with them. In the end the ATF pushed for 2,000 felonies to take place and were responsible for over a hundred more crimes.
There is also the cigarette scandal from the ATF, the EPA poisoning the Colorado River (and subsequently using Volkswagen’s emissions issue as cover-up), and others that I could go on about. I mention these to show that there aren’t only issues with a couple of the federal agencies, but that the issues are rooted deeper than most think.
Now for the San Bernardino shooting of 2015…sadly another tragedy that could have been prevented. A lot of the news coverage coming out around that time rushed to use the “Nobody would have guessed” card and maybe this is true. The fact that it could have been prevented, however, was not aired as much. The neighbor of the two shooters had said that he had witnessed “odd and peculiar activity” in recent weeks leading up to the shooting.
The question you may be asking yourself is “Well, why didn’t he call a hotline and report it?” Well… the neighbor didn’t want to appear to be racist. Yes, political correctness pushed by politicians is why the San Bernardino shooting was not prevented… but would it have mattered if he had called the ATF hotline, the FBI hotline, or even his local authorities? Evidently it wouldn’t have with the FBI… but what about the ATF…?
In the last couple of years, I have become real good friends with a lot of people in the firearm’s community; all of which have different political leanings. Some of these people have tried doing the right thing by calling the ATF to report stuff. The ones that have called call about individuals who are seem mentally disturbed and are also manufacturing fully automatic firearms illegally. The people that shared their stories claimed that when they call the ATF tip line, they are met with an automated system, and never receive a call back for follow-up questions. And no… the people they are concerned about are never investigated. I have been told stories like this more than once and it is sad to hear the same thing repeatedly.
The issue isn’t whether firearms are around or not and with over 300,000,000 firearms in the United States an all out confiscation would be impossible. The issue is that the agencies in charge of preventing tragedies like the San Bernardino shooting or the Parkland School shooting are either not being used due to political reasons (such as appearing racist) or the agencies in charge of preventing tragedies aren’t doing their duty. Further, the issue isn’t if there are firearms; the issue is people. People commit these atrocities, not the tools. In China there have been 2 mass stabbings in recent history resulting in 100 people dead and more injured.
In the United States since the beginning of 2018 over 2,000 people have died due to drunk driving. Prior to the Parkland School shooting two police officers were killed in the line of duty, they were killed by a firearm that was straw purchased (bought by one person but meant for another) which is near impossible to stop from happening. That said… murder is illegal, possessing heroin is illegal, drunk driving is illegal, and more….but these things still happen. Drunk driving happens in dry counties in Kentucky and shootings happen in France. My favorite quote as of recent has been “When a poacher kills a tiger, we blame the poacher. When a shooting happens in the United States we blame the gun.” Notice how we didn’t blame the gun when Paris was attacked? Or how we blamed the bomber when the Ariana Grande concert was bombed?
The solution to ending school shootings you ask? Well… its pretty clear cut. We need to either arm the staff after extensive psychological evaluations and proper training, hire on veterans as security, have local law enforcement hire on specifically for guarding our schools, or every single school has to be outfitted with metal detectors that are monitored by an armed guard. Whether or not you are a fan of firearms like I am, we would like to hear what you think.