And just to be clear for the sake of those that tend to see complex issues only in black and white: the call for gun control is NOT intrinsically "anti-gun" or an "anti-gunowner" agenda. It just isn't. Get over it.
Carly Novell, a student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, sent a tweet in response Tomi Lahren's.
Carly wrote to Lahren: "I was hiding in a closet for 2 hours. It was about guns. You weren't there, you don't know how it felt. Guns give these disgusting people the ability to kill other human beings. This IS about guns and this is about all the people who had their life abruptly ended because of guns."
On Wednesday afternoon, the students and faculty at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida weren't concerned about politics. They were concerned about one thing: survival.
We must find ways to identify individuals with the potential for violence and both prevent them from obtaining weapons and/or take them away from them should such individuals already have them in their possession. This must be priority #1. Then, when the immediate threat is removed, we can begin to find ways to try to treat the underlying mental issues which cause some people to want to hurt others. We must accept the fact that some of these people will likely never be cured. They should never be allowed access to weapons of any sort. Never.
But this brings up another failure of our system: even when law enforcement and other authorities have been informed about potentially dangerous individuals, they often do nothing. Sadly the case of Nikolas Cruz gives ample proof of that.
Reportedly, law enforcement had been called to the Cruz’s home an astounding 39 times over a 7-Year Period (CNN: CBS Miami). Wow. Just Wow!
As reported yesterday in the NY Times, "The F.B.I. received a tip last month from someone close to Nikolas Cruz that he owned a gun and had talked of committing a school shooting." The bureau has both acknowledged that it received the tip and that it failed to investigate.
This is just not right.
In a recent statement in response to this school shooting, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said: "It has never been more important to encourage every person in every community to spot the warning signs and alert law enforcement. Do not assume someone else will step up -- all of us must be vigilant. Our children's lives depend on it."
That's great, assuming that law enforcement will actually DO something about the tips they receive.
As Florida Governor Rick Scott stated: “The FBI’s failure to take action against this killer is unacceptable. Seventeen innocent people are dead and acknowledging a mistake isn't going to cut it.”
Scott continued, “We constantly promote ‘see something, say something,’ and a courageous person did just that to the FBI, [but] the FBI failed to act. 'See something, say something' is an incredibly important tool and people must have confidence in the follow through from law enforcement."
We clearly cannot have confidence in "follow through from law enforcement." This is an area over which we the people and our elected representatives have control. This an area where change can be affected and it must be done so immediately. But it is not just the FBI, but all local and regional law enforcement agencies which need to step up and be proactive, not reactive, in this matter.
Lives depend on it.
Next time--and I hope there isn't a next time, but there almost surely will be--it could be your child, your sibling, your spouse or parent that is killed. It could even be you.
Does it have to come to that for all of us to be outraged?