aside The Question Is, Who Didn’t Drop Ball In Not Preventing Mass Shooting At A Parkland High School?

Nikolas Cruz on ground, being arrested
CRUZ

At no point in my writing do I think that the young man Nikolas Cruz is not responsible for the mass shooting on Valentine’s Day of at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. And he should bear the consequences for his actions.

What I am saying is that there are others who bear responsibility for this mass shooting as well.

Let’s start wit the FBI who definitely dropped the ball.

When a FBI spokesman first stated to the TV cameras and then the  public that the FBI did have a tip but the agents were not able to identify the individual from the tip, he was lying. In January 2018, there was a second warning that the FBI received about the mass shooter before he acted on his violent fantasies.

As per a 2/16/18 New York Magazine report by Adam K. Raymond, “In September, a Florida-based blogger and bail bondsman alerted the FBI to a comment left on one of his YouTube videos. The comment said “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.” Agents couldn’t trace the comment back to anyone though, the FBI says, despite it being left by an account named “nikolas cruz.”

“In what the FBI calls a failure to follow protocol, the (September) tip was not passed up the proper channels. “The information was not provided to the FBI Miami field office, and no further investigation was conducted at that time,” the Bureau said in a statement.

180215-en-pegues-nikolas-cruz-youtube-01.jpg

On February 16, 2018, Bernie Woodall and Zachary Fagenson of Reuters penned the following report, “FBI failed to act on tip accused Florida gunman wanted to kill”

Excerpts:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation on Friday said it mishandled a January tip that the 19-year-old accused of killing 17 people in Florida had guns and the potential to carry out a school shooting.

A person close to accused gunman Nikolas Cruz called an FBI tip line on Jan. 5 to report concerns about him, the FBI said in a statement.

(For a graphic on Florida school shooting click tmsnrt.rs/2nX8ECo)

“The caller provided information about Cruz’s gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting,” it said.

The tip appeared unrelated to a previously reported YouTube comment in which a person named Nikolas Cruz said, “I‘m going to be a professional school shooter.” The FBI has acknowledged getting that tip as well but failing to connect it to Cruz, who is accused of carrying out the massacre at a high school in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday with an AR-15-style assault rifle.

“Under established protocols, the information provided by the caller should have been assessed as a potential threat to life,” the FBI said in its statement. “The information then should have been forwarded to the FBI Miami field office, where appropriate investigative steps would have been taken. We have determined that these protocols were not followed.”

The second-deadliest shooting at a public school in U.S. history also raised concerns about potential failures in school security and stirred the ongoing U.S. debate about gun rights, which are protected by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

“We are still investigating the facts,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in the statement. “We have spoken with victims and families, and deeply regret the additional pain this causes all those affected by this horrific tragedy.”

“Wednesday’s shooting ranks as the greatest loss of life from school gun violence since the 2012 shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 20 first-graders and six adult educators dead.”

Local politics plays a part

No sooner had the the FBI accepted responsibility for dropping the ball, before the Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott was publicly demanding the resignation of the FBI Director Christopher Wray. He was pointing the finger at another shiny object but this tactic will not fly this time.

In Governor Scott’s State of Florida, where it is not legal buy a beer until a young person reaches the age of 21, they can legally purchase an AR15 Assault weapon even if they have a history of mental health issues, as in the case of the mass a shooter. These young people under 21 years of age can buy an assault weapon in 48 states in the USA and Washington DC.

As per the 2/16/18 Washington Post report by Philip Bump, According to the Giffords Law Center‘s review of state laws, Cruz was old enough to buy an AR-15 in 48 states and D.C. (The Giffords Law Center is a pro-gun-control organization named for former Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords.) In 10 states, in fact, he was older than he legally needed to be: In nine of those states, people younger than 18 can buy long guns with their parents’ permission. In Vermont, the minimum age is 16.

As per the 2/16/18 Reuters report by Bernie Woodall and Zachary Fagenson, Leaders including U.S. President Donald Trump have linked mental illness to Wednesday’s violence, suggesting that it was the public’s responsibility to warn officials of such dangers.

“So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior,” Trump said in a Thursday tweet. “Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!”

“Cruz, who had been expelled from the school where he allegedly staged his attack for undisclosed disciplinary reasons, made a brief court appearance on Thursday and was ordered held without bond.”

“He’s a broken human being,” his lawyer, public defender Melissa McNeill, told reporters. “He’s sad, he’s mournful, he’s remorseful.”

“Trump tweeted on Friday morning that he would leave for Florida later in the day to meet people whose “lives had been totally shattered” by the shooting.”

US Congress and President Trump’s complicity

It was the republican President Donald Trump and his sycophants operating in the US Congress including the US Senate’s Judiciary Committee’s Chairman Chuck Grassley were the ones who made it easier for the mentally ill to purchase guns.

In February 2017, President Trump first move in his new role was to repeal an Obama-era regulation that would have made it easier to block the sale of firearms to people with certain mental illnesses. This action may not have prevented the sale of the AR 15 weapon to the mass shooter in this instance, but the point is they were previously not averse to allow the mentally ill to have easier access to guns.

In addition, the president giving voice to racist views has had a effect to make this kind of sick thinking more acceptable. The mass shooter advertised his racist attitudes on his social internet sites but it does not appear that he was a member of a specific White Supremacist group as was previously alleged by ABC News. But if he were so inclined, the president has chosen not to make domestic terrorism a priority for US law enforcement to address.

The Florida School System will probably have to share in the blame

It turns out that the mass shooter may have suffered from a form of autism. There are protocols for a school system to follow in such instances, and I am willing to bet these guide lines were not followed. I would like to know about what happened to the shooter’s older brother. His Dad passed away in 2004. His adopted Mom since birth passed away in Nov. 2017 and this was Valentine’s Day. With his mental health problems, he was a ticking time bomb. Question: Was he taking any prescribed drugs?

As per 2/18/18 Daily Mail.com, “Officials said the teen had received treatment at a mental health clinic for a while, but stopped getting help more than a year ago.”

“The sister-in-law of the teen’s adoptive mother also revealed that he was taking medication at some point for ’emotional difficulties’ but didn’t elaborate on what kind of drugs. “

“Some prescription medications used to treat depression or psychosis have a side effect of causing murderous thoughts, but it’s unclear if Cruz was taking any drugs at the time or what they were. ”

“While the side effect of ‘homicidal ideation’ sounds scary, many medical experts say most psychotic and depressed people are not violent, and are more likely to be a danger to themselves or others if they aren’t treated.”

“His defense team is currently looking into his medical history, but say they already suspect he suffered from depression and autism. “

“Paul Gold, 45, who lived next door to the family from 2009-2010 told the New York Times that Cruz ‘had emotional problems’ and may have been ‘diagnosed with autism’.

“He said he knows that Cruz was sent to a school for students with special needs at one point.”

‘He had trouble controlling his temper. He broke things. He would do that sometimes at our house when he lost his temper. But he was always very apologetic afterwards,’ Gold said. “


As per the 2/16/18 Sun Sentinel report by Stephen Hobbs, Paula McMahon, Anne Geggis and Scott Tray, “Cruz’s mother, Lynda Cruz, died Nov. 1. She was 68.”

“Family member Barbara Kumbatovich, of Long Island, N.Y., said she heard media reports about the mass shooting in Florida but had no idea the suspect was the son of her recently deceased sister-in-law, Lynda.”

“Lynda and her husband, Roger, who died many years ago, adopted Nikolas and his biological brother, Zachary, after the couple moved from Long Island to Broward County.”

“Kumbatovich said she met the boys only once, when they were very young and attended a family funeral in New York. Lynda was a stay-at-home mom and her late husband, who died when the boys were younger, had worked in advertising.”

“Lynda had always wanted to have children and the couple adopted later in life, Kumbatovich said: “I think it was just something she really wanted to do.”

“The boys were left in the care of a family friend after their adoptive mom died Nov. 1, she said.”

“Another relative, who spoke on condition of anonymity over the sensitive matter, said Nikolas had been diagnosed with autism.”

“Lynda, who died of pneumonia, adopted Nikolas the day he was born.”

Nikolas’ father died from a heart attack, the relative said, and Lynda had sought counseling for Nikolas at a young age: “She did her best getting him any help he needed.”

“After their mom died, Cruz and his brother lived with a family friend in Palm Beach County but Cruz wasn’t happy. He asked a friend, who he knew from his time at Stoneman Douglas, if he could move in with the friend’s family in northwest Broward, said Jim Lewis, an attorney speaking on behalf of that family.”

“The family let Cruz move in around Thanksgiving, gave him his own room and urged him to attend adult education classes, Lewis said. Cruz also got a job at a local dollar store, he said.”

Local Police may bear some fault

The local police is said to have been called to the home 39 times. What these calls were about needs to be investigated.

Update: Parkland shooting: Students won’t return to building where 17 killed Palm Beach Post

7 comments

  1. there are so many problems associated with “reporting mental illnesses”. The HIPPA laws, CFR 42, section 2 of the federal confidentiality laws, make it extremely difficult to “take action”. it takes two doctors willing to breach confidentiality. That carries a mandatory imprisonment of five years and a 200 K dollar fine if convicted. They have to weigh that reality against just how “problematic’ a patient is or could be”. Then you have to find a lawyer willing to go before a judge to get a 36 hour hold for mental evaluation at a state facility. the states have closed down most of their state facilities for mental health treatment due to budget cuts put in place years ago.. After doing all of that, a patient has the right to check themselves OUT of mandatory evaluation with a verbal statement. Hospitals HAVE to release within 12 hours once the patient says I want to go. So HOW exactly are we supposed to prevent a crime a person may be contemplating? They can not be arrested for a terroristic threat…it is a ticketing offence in every state. We can’t hold medically if the patient wants to go. I get so frustrated with people stating no one prevented the shootings, especially since no one could have…UNLESS they removed the weapon being used. Our hands are tied by federal laws.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Suze,

      My answer is, that there should be reporting when police get involved.or when and if these peoples are adjudicated before the courts with mental health issues.

      For me mental illness does not equal instability or violent type behaviors. For example, peoples treated for depression with medications are too many and frankly not likely to anything of a violent nature.

      This is true also for those with autism.

      This issue of mental illness is too frequently used whenever republicans want to avoid doing anything constructive about gun control. It is a red herring.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have experience in the attempt to report someone who was a danger to himself or others. It was damned near impossible to get two doctors to agree to take this person before the courts. then by the time we got the person TO court, he or she had been medicated (third doctor) and was released by the judge. The patient, a year later, took three people’s lives in a shooting. 20 years later and I still wonder what more I could have done to prevent the patient’s actions. Mental illnesses alone do not, and frankly have never, been a reason to report.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Dear Suze,

          You have the comfort of knowing that you acted. Your hands were tied. You have the comfort of knowing that you did your best.

          I have been a position where I had to act as well. It wasn’t easy but I knew that if I didn’t make a real attempt, it is then that I would NOT sleep.

          There are the actors and the bystanders in this world.

          When I acted, I can’t tell you how many bureaucrats tried to tell me that I was over-reacting. Well guess who ended up being right which gave me no comfort. But then, I don’t suffer the guilt that others do.

          Hugs, Gronda

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Gronda, I am certain that the FBI has thwarted terrorist acts like this without our awareness, but it looks like the ball was dropped here. It takes great pains to register a concern like this – the thought of putting your life in danger or just getting involved – to see it not followed through.

    On the larger issue, I find our so-called leaders’ inability to act and improve gun governance and speak to the related issues like mental health, civility, entertainment, crime, etc. is a huge disservice to Americans. I am tired of the slippery slope argument and this proposal would not solve that problem. What is obvious is doing nothing (which is Congress’ main skill) is not working. My thoughts and prayers are for them to grow a backbone. The victims’ families deserve this. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Keith,

      The republicans are just using mental health issues as a red herring. They are the ones who in 2017, made it easier for those with mental health problems to own a gun.

      This is the right time to talk about it. And no, guns don’t shoot, but then a man doesn’t shoot either. It takes a man with gun to shoot and you can’t separate the two. The republicans are running out of their scripted Frank Luntz talking points.

      The republicans need to be moved out of their elected positions for their well being and the safety of their own children..

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

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