On a sunny Wednesday, February 14, four Broward County Sheriff’s deputies stood outside of Stoneman Douglas High School, listening to the sounds of gunfire go off inside the walls. They were armed, had the necessary training, and the duty to serve and protect in these kinds of situations. Yet they didn’t. They sat outside while they listened to the bang of the gunshots, every one of them a potential life being snuffed out.
But even more sad is the fact that this all could have been prevented. The shooter — who I will no longer give the satisfaction of having his name written in the realm of forever by my hand — had been reported for violent behavior many times before, and visited by deputies some 39 times in the past over his behavior. He would post disturbing messages and photos online such as “I want to kill people,” and then remove them. The FBI had received tips about the shooter long in advance.
All the signs were there. The FBI and Broward Sheriff’s Dept had the necessary warnings.
Instead, like the deputies sitting outside Stoneman Douglas High School listening to innocent people being shot, they did nothing. They both failed the people of Parkland, Florida, and now 17 of them are dead. Seventeen families are grieving the sudden, and unjustified loss of their loved ones.
The incident threw our nation into turmoil. Family members and friends turned on each other as they attempted to find blame, or defend positions. Groups like the National Rifle Association were blamed despite the fact that they had nothing to do with it. Boycotts inspired businesses to cut ties with the NRA, not punishing the organization itself, but the millions of people who subscribe to it.
Media outlets engaged in pure, unadulterated activism to push the gun control narrative, setting the nation at each other’s throats as it was led by the nose with incomplete information and ignorance-driven advocacy. CNN hosted what it referred to as a “town hall” but was clearly more of a kangaroo court meant to put the NRA in a bad light, as it led NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch up on stage where she was jeered, booed, and insulted every time she tried to speak. Very little fairness was given in that town hall, leading some to believe it was intentionally rigged by CNN to push their gun control agenda, with some evidence to back that up.
Underlying all of the infighting were the various levels of solutions people were pushing. Some were calling for outright bans, and wouldn’t accept anything less despite the impossibility. Some just wanted to ban semi-auto rifles, despite the fact that it would be incredibly difficult and not thinking through the fact that such a solution wouldn’t come to much anyway thanks to decades of distribution and circulation. Politicians danced their dance for gun control, with one outright confessing that he would lie about guns in order to push gun control agendas. It was a drop in the bucket, the media was busy doing the same with the reputation of pro-gun Republicans.
The nation was plunged into a hysteria that has caused so much pain, and unnecessary fighting. Characters were ruined, and people who didn’t deserve to receive the business end of the public’s ire were led onto the national stage to be stripped down and destroyed.
And all because the Sheriff’s department in Broward County didn’t move on the information given to them. All because four deputies sat outside a high school and listened to the sound of people dying.
Sheriff Scott Israel, who joined in the finger pointing to keep those fingers pointing at anyone but himself, should resign immediately. The four officers who sat by as defenseless people were shot should also resign, or be fired just as quickly. Those responsible at the FBI should suffer the same.
All of this could have been prevented, and these people did nothing.