Mass Shootings

How Authorities Failed To Stop School Shooter Nikolas Cruz

After missing warning signs, law enforcement and others are now quick to say they need more power to stop the next tragedy.

|

Broward County Sheriff's Office

How can the senseless killing of 17 people at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, be made even more tragic and disturbing? By realizing that it could have and should have been prevented by existing authorities using current laws and policies.

The discourse in the wake of the shooting has mostly been about all the new laws we need to prevent such horrors from happening again—increased ages for rifle purchases, a ban on bump stocks, prohibition of "assault weapons" and semi-automatics, easier ways to commit mentally ill people, and more. But the plain, awful truth is that law enforcement and other agencies had all the information and power they needed. Yet the authorities failed to act both during the shooting itself and in the months and years leading up to it. Creating new programs and laws, many of which have little if no relevance to mass shootings or crime in general, will do absolutely nothing to cure official incompetence and indifference.

Here's a partial list of failures that will only grow longer as more information about Nikolas Cruz, who has admitted to the shooting, comes out.

  • Broward Country Sheriff Scot Peterson was the school's armed "resource officer" whose entire job it was to protect students from just such situations. He failed to engage the shooter during a six-minute rampage and resigned after being suspended*. Three other members of the sheriff's office were also present during all or part of the shooting and failed to confront the shooter, a lack of action that "stunned and upset" police from nearby Coral Springs* when they arrived on the scene. The response of the head of the department, Sheriff Scott Israel? Referring to Peterson's failure, he told a local reporter, "I gave him a gun. I gave him a badge. I gave him the training. If he didn't have the heart to go in, that's not my responsibility." If Israel, who has called for greater gun control and the ability to remand suspects to mental institutions involuntarily, is not responsible for the failure of his own men to execute their duties, then who is?
  • The FBI received at least two tips about Nikolas Cruz but failed to follow up each time. On January 5, a woman called the FBI and had a 13-minute conversation with an agent about Cruz, whom she said had "deteriorated" mentally after his mother died in late 2017. The caller said, "He's thrown out of all these schools because he would pick up a chair and just throw it at somebody, a teacher or a student, because he didn't like the way they were talking to him." She gave information about Cruz's social media accounts, where he posted pictures of tortured and dead animals and promised violence against himself and others. In congressional testimony, the FBI's deputy director said he didn't know why the tip, which led to a counterterrorism file being opened, was not followed up. Last September, a bail bondsman in Mississippi contacted the FBI after seeing a YouTube comment that read, "Im [sic] going to be a professional school shooter" and attributed to a "nikolas cruz." According to a spokesman, after receiving the tip, the "FBI conducted database reviews, checks, but was unable to further identify the person who actually made the comment." Elsewhere, Cruz posted statements such as "I whana [sic] shoot people with my AR-15," "I wanna die Fighting killing shit ton of people," and "I am going to kill law enforcement one day they go after the good people."
  • CNN says that various sorts of violent behavior, such as hitting and threatening his mother, resulted in local police generating at least "30 reports going back as far as 2011 [but that] the vast majority of the police calls resulted in 'no paperwork filed.'" In fall 2016, Cruz was investigated by Florida's Department of Children & Families (DCF) after someone called a hotline to report Snapchat images of Cruz's bloody arms (he had apparently cut himself after breaking up with a girlfriend). "The investigation appears to have lacked rigor," reports The Miami Herald, which acquired copies of the report. "An exceptional student education specialist who worked with Cruz repeatedly declined to return phone calls from DCF's adult protective services investigator. [Stoneman Douglas's] resource officer, a deputy, 'refused to share any information' at all, except to confirm that a mobile crisis unit had been out to the school to assess Cruz. Cruz himself also wouldn't cooperate, saying that 'he talked about the situation enough. If Cruz had, in fact, been cutting himself that day, the investigator appears to have made little effort to confirm the allegation: The investigator, the report said, 'was not able to see any scars or cuts on the [victim's] arms because he was wearing long sleeves.'"
  • Cruz, 19, was enrolled in a public school in Broward County but had been expelled last year from Stoneman Douglas for "bringing knives on campus," according to a source in The New York Times. The day after the shooting, the mayor of Broward County, Beam Furr, said "[Cruz] had been undergoing some treatment. We can't go into detail on that…I don't know if he was exactly on law enforcement's radar, but it wasn't like there wasn't concern for him. He had not been back to the clinic for over a year, so there's been a time where he was receiving treatment and then stopped."

It's understandable why survivors and observers of the carnage in Florida are looking for ways to prevent that sort of attack from happening again. For authorities in power, though, such an impulse has got to take a back seat to an honest evaluation of their own failures. When Sheriff Israel, for instance, brushes off any responsibility for the the failure of his department to prevent or minimize violence, the only proper reaction is outrage. The FBI has the manpower and the willpower to immediately confront stock short-sellers and surveil just about anybody it wants to, but it can't explain why it didn't follow up on Nikolas Cruz? Florida's Department of Children & Families is notoriously incompetent, which doesn't excuse its workers—or the legislators who ultimately oversee it—from accepting a terrible status quo.

There are legitimate concerns about government actors who aggressively follow up on every random tip and stray hunch to bust into people's lives. All too often, we find that people in positions of power routinely abuse their authority. And yet there are no excuses for the ways in which Nikolas Cruz slipped through the cracks of the agencies that are supposed to protect both him and us from, well, people like him. Giving these same agencies even more power is no way to pay our respects to the dead of Stoneman Douglas High.

*CORRECTION: This story originally said that Peterson was fired. He resigned after being suspended. This story also originally referred to Coral Springs as Coral Gables.

Related: "The Parkland Shooting Screw-Ups Go All the Way To the Top," a Reason Podcast featuring Katherine Mangu-Ward, Robby Soave, Eric Boehm, and me. Listen below or subscribe at iTunes.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

192 responses to “How Authorities Failed To Stop School Shooter Nikolas Cruz

  1. I’ll say it again, fetal alcohol syndrome… amirite?

      1. If you want to claim FAS I’d suggest you sit down with Cruz and assess and diagnose him properly first. Drive-by psychoanalysis usually isn’t worth the bandwidth it takes to publish it.

      2. Justin . I can see what your saying… Andrew `s rep0rt is impressive, on wednesday I got a top of the range Cadillac since getting a check for $9430 this last 5 weeks and in excess of $10 thousand last-munth . it’s by-far the easiest-job I’ve ever done . I started this 7-months ago and pretty much immediately started bringing in more than $75, per/hr . view

        LOOK HERE MORE
        http://www.richdeck.com

    1. Cruz, Peterson, or Israel?

      1. All three.

    2. Looks like you are correct. The overly wide-set eyes are a dead giveaway. And I seem to remember reading that he was adopted. Could be he was taken away from his birth parents due to their boozing.

      Still, it does not excuse his behavior. I understand fetal alcohol syndrome causes intellectual deficits, not violent tendencies.

    3. And he was on antidepressants.

      1. Most recent estimates are that anywhere from 10 to 20 percent of all adults in the US are taking an antidepressant. Citing that as a cause seem rather broad.

        1. Yes, but he was possibly on them at a very early age and was taking Adderall as well. Almost every shooter had a similar profile. Bad home, parents who don’t parent and a combination of legal meth and mood altering drugs. When you add all that together, it makes for a much smaller pool.

  2. What America needs is a law that says existing authorities shall abide by current laws and policies.

  3. Elsewhere, Cruz posted statements such as…”I am going to kill law enforcement one day they go after the good people.”

    Don’t he know it! Kid had brains enough to operate on reliable information, you gotta give him that.

  4. Re-post:

    “Lawyer defends deputy who failed to subdue Florida school shooter”
    […]
    “Peterson’s statement said he and a security specialist ran to the scene at first word of the shooting, a report that mistakenly said firecrackers were being set off near one building. He then heard gunshots “but believed that those gunshots were originating from outside of the buildings.”
    Following his training to seek cover and assess the situation in the event of outdoor gunfire, he “took up a tactical position” between two nearby buildings while alerting dispatchers and initiating a “code red” lockdown of the campus, the statement said.”
    https://www.sfgate.com/nation/article/
    Lawyer-defends-deputy-who-failed-
    to-subdue-12710177.php

    I think this is the ‘my client can’t hear well, either’ defense

      1. I’ve learned how to do that and forgotten it at least a half dozen times.
        You’d think Reason would make it easy to link, but hey, it’s my money not to give them.

        1. Why not do a described link like this?

          Plus get in the habit of trying out a preview and checking its link before every submit. Always good policy anyway. (Which I have fucked up a couple times along the way myself!)

        2. Here’s how I do it. Take out the dash between a and href and replace with a space. First thing between parenthesis is the site, second thing is how you describe your link.

          Trump is my favorite President Ever!

          1. Ah, fucked it up.

            1. Ah, you’re right; Sevo was actually saying he didn’t know how to do precisely what I’d urged him to do, not that he didn’t know how to keep his auto-links together.

              < a href="cutandpastedaddress" >descriptionblahblah< /a >, with no spaces (can’t seem to escape the angle brackets myself!)

              1. Trump is the greatest President Ever!

                Can be done by replacing { with < and } with > in the following…

                {a href=”https://www.pornhub.com/ video/search?search=stormy+daniels” }Trump is the greatest President Ever!{/a}

                1. Some of those dudes with Stormy are looking a mighty bit like mightabeen school shooters. Rescued and delivered into gainful productivity by the industry! (And prissy Jordan Peterson says it contributes nothing to society!)

        3. “You’d think Reason would make it easy to link, but hey, it’s my money not to give them.”

  5. I refuse to believe OUR Republican-Platform-Dediqu?es, Murrica’s brave First Responders? are a bunch of lazy, dishonest, unionized, rent-seeking, pet-shooting cowardly poltroons. So there! So can we get back to talking about more Kristallnacht laws, and maybe coercive Australian-style spaghetti-code voting so First Responders? can beat the crap out of selfish and apathetically non-hysterical people.

    1. Spaghetti code was my nickname on the chess team.

    2. Poltroons. I love archaic insults. We need to bring them back, so here’s a shout out for fopdoodles and smellfungus.

  6. “We’re doing a crappy job, so we need more money and power.”

    Yeah, that’ll solve the problem. *facepalm*

    1. *fascespalm*

      1. Fasces–isn’t that the Latin term for “Stronger Together”?

    2. Why are you quoting Reason?

      1. Burn! But Reason has no power.

  7. Yes the autistic kids are crazy and will rip you apart with their AK rampages. But guess what? They also make surprisingly good doctors and can stitch you back together lickety split. Just need the police to get you to the hospital in time. You’ll be fine. Overall I think it’s a wash.

  8. Laws are great solutions, especially when you assume they’re being executed by a motivated and confident government.

    When you spot the problem, let me know.

    1. If that’s the case then maybe we should reconsider giving teachers weapons in class. Since government workers are all lazy incompetents they’d probably blow little Johnny’s head off while reading them the Bible. Why would we want something like that?

      1. Have you *met* little Johnny. Total shit. Teacher’d be doing us all a favor.

          1. Well that sure made my day.

      2. “Since government workers are all lazy incompetents they’d probably blow little Johnny’s head off while reading them the Bible.”

        No, the incompetents are reading the most recent “Self Esteem” SJW manual.

      3. If government workers find themselves in the middle of an active shooter situation while possessing weapons they would become motivated very quickly.

        1. Hopefully so; at least their cravenness and incompetence should have some limits.

          4th grade cowers under desks in Room 104.

          Footsteps slowly approach.

          Doorknob turns.

          Shooter enters room.

          A sweat-drenched Mrs. Jones reaches into drawer, fumbles magazine into place.

          Grabs Suzie Watkins.

          “Don’t shoot or the kid gets it! …Oh, fuck!”

    2. Motivated and confident governments are the scariest kind.

  9. It’s appropriate to criticize law enforcement failures when they occur. However, Reason desperately needs to modify its position on guns. You need to acknowledge the villains here are the NRA, the politicians it’s bought, and the companies that still have business arrangements with it.

    Get on the right side of history. Strengthen the progressive – libertarian alliance. Support a ban on assault weapons.

    1. But I thought no one wants to take my guns away.

      1. That depends on the type of gun you own. No civilian needs military style weapons. And besides, it’s not like government agents will go door-to-door confiscating them. A buyback program might work.

          1. It won’t.

        1. Actual military weapons like the M1 and M14 were legal to own under the “assault weapons” ban. What standing army uses AR-15’s as weapons?

    2. Support a ban on assault weapons.

      Which ones, specifically?

      1. As a start, the ones that were covered under the assault weapons ban this country used to have.

        1. Dude, give it up. If you think that weapons that fire 100s of bullets per minute shouldn’t be freely available to fucking nutcases on Ritalin than you are no libertarian, friend.

        2. Which assault weapons ban appears to have had no statistical effect at all.

          How about this; we stop making schools full of vulnerable minors areas that nutcases looking to go out in a blaze of infamy KNOW will not have any responsible armed citizens present.

          Then we reinstitute public hangings, after changing the law so that prosecutors and cops who hide evidence in capitol cases are subject to prosecution for attempted (or achieved) murder. And we encourage news media to spread pictures of the bullet riddled mess that remains after a shooter has been gunned down, maybe including video of his pain filled last moments if possible, so it doesn’t look so goddamned glamorous.

        3. Columbine still happened with it in place (in fact, it’s the event that kick-started the whole “socially maladjusted weirdo shoots up the place” trend.

          1. There were mass shootings before Columbine, and while Columbine may have been the first at a high school there were mass shootings on university campuses long before Columbine.

        4. You mean the ban based on cosmetics and other arbitrary characteristics, legislation based on emotion and ignorance. Need I remind you the virginia tech shooter killed twice as many as these recent ones with 2 simple pistols, because he aimed.
          The ignorance profound when it comes to the left, I notice after every shooting its like they have mind wiped themselves since the last one, as they have managed to not learn one accurate thing about them since that time, its an almost deliberate blindness.
          The black rifle doesn’t shoot any faster because some liberals find the cosmetics scary. Things like flash hiders and bayonets simply do not apply
          There is no progressive libertarian alliance, there are progressives and libertines who claim to be against taxes but really don’t really care at the end of the day because their minds are baked. And money? Compare the NRA’s tiny campaign contributions to any other group, its no where near the top, let alone to groups like Soros who are simply on a different level all together, recently gave 18 billion to his open society organization which causes trouble all over the world, and here you are complaining about an organization with organic support, millions of americans paying their dues to keep their fundamental inalienable rights from people who have proven they will restrict your freedoms where ever they take control.

          1. But it makes sense that your nick already tells us you are for open borders, lul-bertarian identification job done. Nothing more than socialism’s handmaiden, open borders, new demographic votes for socialism destroying your claimed dreams of libertarianism, and then you feign surprise.

    3. Re: Oddball Marxian,

      However, Reason desperately needs to modify its position on guns.

      And if they don’t?

      Support a ban on assault weapons.

      The only assault weapon I know is the image of a naked Katy Bates walking in the hot tub with Jack Nicholson in “About Smith”. That was an assault on my eyes.

      “Assault weapon” is that catch-all word used by people who don’t have a clue of what they talk about. The ONLY reason that short cartridge, small calibre semi-auto rifles are called “assault rifles” is because Hitler changed the name of the MP-44 –after it was demonstrated to him– to “Sturmgewehr” or storming rifle (i.e. “assault” rifle) when in fact it is no more an assault weapon than, say, a club, or a rock. It’s just a rifle.

      1. “The ONLY reason that short cartridge, small calibre semi-auto rifles are called “assault rifles” is because Hitler changed the name of the MP-44 –after it was demonstrated to him– to “Sturmgewehr” or storming rifle (i.e. “assault” rifle)…”

        Feinstein is amazed!

        1. Assault Rifle has nothing to do with either small caliber, short cartridges or semi-automatic. Assault-Rifle refers to a rifle with select fire capability (both semi-automatic and either full auto or bust). And yes, the MP-44 was the first known select fire rifle.

          By the way both the M16 ( 5.56?45mm, small caliber but not short cartridge) and the AK47 (7.62?39mm. neither small caliber nor short cartridge) are assault rifles.

        2. “”The ONLY reason that short cartridge, small calibre semi-auto rifles are called “assault rifles””

          You seem to be confusing assault rifles with sub-machine guns. A sub-machine gun is a fully automatic firearm that fire pistol ammunition.

      2. The only assault weapon I know is the image of a naked Katy Bates walking in the hot tub with Jack Nicholson in “About Smith”.

        Do not–repeat, do not–check out a recently concluded addition to the rich-New-York-kids genre called Girls, no matter how many positive reviews you might hear. You will see things that make Kathy Bates look like a young Famke Janssen, and hear things that make Chuck Schumer’s more homely cousin Amy sound like the reincarnation of Jonathan Swift.

    4. Almost as good as Sean Spicier. Almost.

    5. the NRA, the politicians it’s bought,

      That idea’s getting hard to sell, now that Michael Bloomberg, all by himself, is outspending the NRA two or three to one.

    6. The villain here is Nikolas Cruz. The secondary villains here are the nearby adults who put the ‘threat assessment protocols’ in place – but then failed to follow up when students/peers identified Cruz as a possible threat.

      The Secret Service did a report on school shooters 15 years ago. Cruz triggered those protocols. Unless there is still some remaining legal bar to pulling him specifically in – to assess HIM individually before the attack; there is no other legislation that is called for.

      You are simply just another of those who believes that a school massacre is nothing but an excuse to fuck with the innocent in order to ‘get on the right side of history’. Which makes you – a sociopathic villain.

    1. Back in my day they didn’t even need the guns, the boots were enough.

  10. Hell Nick, now that you’re on the Trump Train why don’t you pony up the dough and join the NRA (America’s Oldest Civil Right Organization).

    1. Exactly the wrong approach. Reason should be distancing itself from the bitter clingers.

      1. Re: Oddball Marxian,

        Reason should be distancing itself from the bitter clingers.

        Hmm, that’s a LOT of ‘bitter clingers’, O. How do you expect to disarm and then deport or execute all of them without a fight? Because trying to shame them to give up 300 MILLION guns ia going to take more than one geeky and one lesbiany High Schooler talking on CNN and NPR.

      2. Why? If the Second Amendment doesn’t stand, why should any of the others?

        But then the Political Left isn’t all that fond of the First, either, are they?

          1. Crusty is giving these away like Oprah today.

          2. lol wut?

            1. OpenBordersLiberal-tarian is a parody account. He’s calling people who unironically engage it morons.

              1. So you are outing OBLT?

              2. Its hard to be sure these days, the left have become a parody of themselves.

  11. There are legitimate concerns about government actors who aggressively follow up on every random tip and stray hunch to bust into people’s lives

    And that’s the rub–these people *already* possess the power to intercede and severely limit the chances of these types of tragedies from happening. That they utterly failed to do so, when several actors from the federal government on down could have exercised their existing authority to step in and put this guy in an institution where he belonged, or even prison given his numerous brushes with the law, is the real lesson of this event.

    1. Step 1: FBI opens counter-terrorism file on a “Nikolas Cruz” after lengthy phone tip from someone who knows him.

      Step 2: FBI receives tip from concerned citizen about comments by a “Nikolas Cruz” (not even using a fake name), but can’t cross-reference it to any open FBI files.

      Step 3: FBI does nothing.

      Sounds a lot like FBI casework after hearing about foreign nationals taking flight lessons but not interested in practicing landings.

  12. At long last! There is an awesome way how you can function online from your home utilizing your PC and win in a similar time… Just essential web learning required and quick web association… Acquire as much as $3000 seven days.

    +_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+ http://www.homework5.com

  13. It’s a shame he wasn’t a non-white kid because he would’ve been executed on the spot after the first 911 call. Very likely his little dog Toto, too.

    As it is, only white kids get to do shooting rampages unabated.

    Oh, didn’t you notice that oddity? The police will blow the head off a little black Cincinnati kid playing with an obvious toy gun but they shit their pants when a white kid plays Great White Hunter with his very real gun. Ain’t that special?

    1. African-American shooters tend to at least represent their statistical portion of the U.S. population and include past killers like like Omar S. Thornton, Maurice Clemmons, Charles Lee Thornton, William D. Baker, Arthur Wise, Clifton McCree, Nathan Dunlap, Colin Ferguson, and the DC Snipers, John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo,” Van Zandt told theGrio

      Maybe kids but it seems equal opportunity for adults

      1. https://thegrio.com /2013/09/17 /african-american-mass-shooters/

      2. I think I can hear Shikha wailing.

      3. You left out Aaron Alexis [Washington Navy Yard, Remington 870–I suppose we’d best ban those too].

  14. I want to advise caution and accuracy in criticizing the school resource officer, Scot Peterson. He wasn’t fired and wasn’t found to have mishandled the situation. He resigned, and no investigation has been completed yet. There are a lot of questions about the actions of the police that day (and there should be), but we don’t know the answers and I don’t think it’s helpful to the discussion to publish falsehoods.

    1. Ahhh yeah….He’s a pussy

    2. See 8:07, upthread. His lawyer is now inventing excuses for him.
      Yes, he has not been convicted, but in the words of Loudon Wainwright III, ‘you don’t have to look, and you don’t have to see, you can feel it in your olfactory’ .

      1. So much for “reason.” Now, we don’t need evidence, logic, and reason. We can just smell the truth.

        1. We sure can smell bullshit like from you.

    3. He resigned, and no investigation has been completed yet.

      No he didn’t–the fucker put in his retirement papers. He and three other cops outnumbered the shooter 4-1 and sat outside pissing their pants instead of engaging and stopping a school shooter dead in his tracks. And now he’s collecting a pension for his malfeaseance, which in a non-clown world society would at the very least result in a fraud, waste, and abuse lawsuit.

      1. No he didn’t what? He resigned at 12:37 p.m. EST on Thursday, Feb. 15. He was eligible for retirement, and so he’s apparently going to take that. Nothing I wrote was inaccurate.

      2. Fraud, Waste, and Abuse actions are for public benefits and wouldn’t apply to this case.

        1. Drawing a retirement on the publics dime isn’t a “public benefit”?

          But seriously, we have been told for 20 freaking years the SOP is the first on the scene will immediately engage in order to try and reduce the number of casualties. That was supposed to be the lesson from Columbine. If that’s not the case, I would prefer the cops and politicians be honest about it.

          Then they, and all the pro-cop, anti-letting teachers decide to carry people can sit down and shut the fuck up.

        2. The dude and 3 cops let 17 kids die and it wouldn’t apply?

          1. No, it wouldn’t. He’s entitled to his retirement benefits. He paid into it, and he’s legally receiving it. The payor is contractually obligated to give it to him. It’s not “fraud, waste, and abuse.” FW&A is, for example, when a doctor bills Medicare for procedures he or she didn’t perform.

            1. The could dock him one day of service since he wasn’t actually serving that day.

  15. I’m also not sure that Nikolas Cruz fell through the cracks entirely. It’s unclear that he committed a crime before this (even the statements he made were not imminent threats necessarily), so if the FBI had investigated, they would have likely found that he was not committing a crime and was living with a stable family and receiving mental health treatment. It is not illegal to own guns if you’re a troubled teen or even if you’re mentally ill (and this was not affected by Obama’s executive order, which applied to those who were adjudicated as mentally ill). Even if the FBI had investigated, what would the result have been? We’ll never know, but I don’t think it’s as clear-cut as “authorities knew about him but did nothing.” We often hear that people fall through the cracks in this country, but “falling through the cracks” implies that there’s more of a safety net than there actually is. The fact is, it’s legal to be mentally ill and disturbed and even scary and to have a criminal background and still legally purchase guns.

    1. As liberals, indeed we cannot blithely go around pointing to “law enforcement failing to act” against various precrime every time some weirdo shoots up a shopping mall. We understand that the Right to Bear, like any right, is only as good as the Due Process holding it up (and we like our Freedom of Speech too), so we cannot indulge the comforting “conservative” fiction that law enforcement should be leaving the “good people” like us armed, and merely disarming the “bad people.”

      That said, people around here seem pretty confident that there were actual crimes being committed by young Mr. Cruz. The line between expression and True Threats is pretty generously drawn, but once you cross it you can easily find yourself in felony territory, and they seem to have (I haven’t been following) been describing just that.

      1. Everyone keeps making vague statements like “people have said….” That’s not real. I’m a lawyer who has researched the law in Florida. If someone with any knowledge can contradict me (and point to any examples, case law, or a statute), great. Otherwise, we’re not really having a worthwhile discussion.

        1. “I’m a lawyer”

          No, you’re some fucking guy on the internet.

          1. I’m a lawyer. And I’m not a guy.

    2. It’s unclear that he committed a crime before this

      People have been arrested for making these kinds of threats, so this is inaccurate.

      1. I’m a lawyer, so I’ve reviewed the threats, and I’m not confident that “people have been arrested for making these kinds of threats.” Terroristic threats have to be imminent, credible, etc., in most jurisdictions. It’s not clear that he was making threats of any kind that would break a law in that jurisdiction. If you’re saying that what I’m saying is inaccurate, I can accept that, but please post some examples of Florida cases where someone was arrested for this. Show me some evidence that these statements rise to the level of a crime in Florida. It can be argued that they don’t.

        1. I’m a lawyer, so I’ve reviewed the threats, and I’m not confident that “people have been arrested for making these kinds of threats.”

          I don’t give a damn if you’re Cicero, you’re full of shit.

          Terroristic threats have to be imminent, credible, etc., in most jurisdictions.

          Cruz had 40-some brushes with the law and was reported to both the FBI AND the sheriff’s department, and that’s not credible? GTFO.

          please post some examples of Florida cases

          If the FBI is getting called, that’s federal. Florida law doesn’t mean shit.

          Show me some evidence that these statements rise to the level of a crime in Florida.

          Making terroristic threats isn’t a crime? What TTT law school did you get your degree from?

          1. Whenever anyone asks you to back up your statements with facts, you just say “nuh uh! You’re full of shit!” And then you make a bunch more inaccurate statements…. Anyway, good luck to all of you. This isn’t a discussion. It’s a place for people to (anonymously) hurl insults and make ridiculous, inaccurate statements. I’m out.

            1. Whenever anyone asks you to back up your statements with facts, you just say “nuh uh! You’re full of shit!”

              ::claims “I’m a lawyer and I’ve reviewed the threats::

              It’s a place for people to (anonymously) hurl insults and make ridiculous, inaccurate statements.

              So you’re claiming, once again, that making terroristic threats isn’t a crime? Don’t you think it’s a bit odd that someone who’s had over 40 brushes with the law and was twice reported to the FBI for saying he would shoot up a school, is simply left alone when these same law enforcement figures have no problem hammering people for far less?

            2. BTW, the “I’m a lawyer” shit is an appeal to authority, in case they ever taught that at your TTT law school.

  16. If Israel, who has called for greater gun control and the ability to remand suspects to mental institutions involuntarily, is not responsible for the failure of his own men to execute their duties, then who is?

    The NRA, duh!!

    /prog.

    1. The only logical conclusion is Sheriff Scott Illuminati, who pulls the real strings in Broward County.

    2. I don’t think this snark from Nick is fair.

      The Sheriff had a man in position to do the job. He had the equipment you’d expect for that position. He was a veteran with a lot of time on the job.

      It isn’t like there are a lot of active shooter situations. Probably 99% of police go through their entire careers without ever encountering a firefight.

      So exactly how is the Sheriff, who is 4 or 5 levels above this guy, supposed to evaluate the reaction he is going to have in a once in a lifetime situation? There is no way to test for “life and death” decision making.

      There’s plenty to criticize here, but saying that somehow the sheriff should have known that he would chicken out if there was a shooting at the school is pretty weak.

      You could point out that “school resource officer” is the destination for the guys that nobody wants on their squad. It is a nice, cushy assignment, with almost zero chance of contact with violent felons. The day to day skills required are mostly being affable and getting along with the faculty, staff and students. The teachers I know praise SRO’s for being good with troubled kids or doing a good job of preventing escalation of conflicts. I’ve never heard any of them talk about their combat skills or their courage under fire. Because it doesn’t come up in the job all that often.

      1. Maybe during the post-Columbine rush to place cops in even the cushiest suburban school, we should have been picking them a little more for their “combat skills and courage under fire,” and a little less for their skill in “being good” at cuffing “troubled” little Jimmy for “escalating his conflict” with Johnny by pew-pewing him with a Fruit Roll-up gun.

      2. Cyto|2.28.18 @ 12:05AM|#
        “There’s plenty to criticize here, but saying that somehow the sheriff should have known that he would chicken out if there was a shooting at the school is pretty weak.”

        Yep, we should never criticize a manager when his charges don’t do what he has hired (and trained) them to do.
        Are you SERIOUS? Do we assume the military gets to screw up when attacked because it didn’t happen yesterday also?
        Pathetic.

  17. There’s one consistent thing that can be said about right-wing libertarians. They’re always there to point out the failures of the governmental agencies they’ve systematically been there to undermine.

    Why shouldn’t we expect an underpaid sheriff’s deputy to fail to engage a shooter. I mean, maybe in the next shooting involving a high powered rifle the police or school security guard will possess amazing and untapped bravery. Let’s hope! But the law of averages says that a guy making 40k/yr probably won’t be inclined to go in taser guns blazing against a guy equipped with an AR-15. Would you?

    1. It worked well enough to neutralize the threat in this school incident.

    2. Robespierre Josef Stalin Pot|2.27.18 @ 10:22PM|#
      “Why shouldn’t we expect an underpaid sheriff’s deputy to fail to engage a shooter.”

      Because, you slimy pile of shit, he was HIRED TO ENGAGE a shooter.
      But as someone who decides that contractual arrangements can be ignored when they become inconvenient, why should we be surprised when the slimy pile of shit tells us integrity is optional?

      1. Hey Sevo, how you liking that TSLA cash burn? $650MM in one quarter is a new record. Gonna need another loan…

        1. “Hey Sevo, how you liking that TSLA cash burn? $650MM in one quarter is a new record. Gonna need another loan…”

          Naah. Musk will slide all the Hyperloop subsidies over to TSLA and start a new scam to empty the taxpayers’ wallets.
          I tend to trust the market, but in this case, the market seems to be betting he can keep that up indefinitely. Madoff’s pounding his bars in frustration; he just picked the wrong revenue stream!

          1. Reason seems to be prepping to get on the hyperloop train. I think the market is starting to wake up. He has to start producing model 3’s this year and reality isn’t being kind.

            Musk and Madoff are pikers compared to FDR and Johnson.

            1. I’m reading (really ‘slogging through’) an FDR hagiography; some 600+ pages. The first thing that becomes obvious is the world’s desire for demagogues in the ’30s and we got FDR.
              The hagiographer uses terms like ‘misleads’, ‘wasn’t quite truthful’, ‘hid’ and so forth to mask his lies. I put a note on every page where he does so (I keep marginal notes on yellow stickees). There must be a hundred pages or so where there is no note about his lies. Like turd here, he lied to every one always. He lied where the truth would better serve.
              We are fortunate he didn’t live longer; his post-war plans would have made Trueman’s screw-up on medical insurance seem small change.
              We’d have been far more fortunate if he had died much, much earlier.
              I have to list him as the worst POTUS.

              1. I have to list him as the worst POTUS.

                All anyone really needs to know about the left is that they worship that scumbag.

                1. BTW, Eleanor was WORSE!
                  Hard to believe, but while she was sterling on civil rights, she was horrible on economic issues. FDR was an econ-ignoramus; she was worse.

                  1. The most villainous FLOTUS-POTUS Bonnie and Clyde team has still got to be Edith and Vegetable-Woodrow.

    3. Of course Broward deputies average $59K/year.

      And one would assume that a sheriff’s deputy carries a handgun in addition to a taser.

      1. I think Houston cops actually go out and buy their own sidearms from a list or something; they’re not issued.

        1. Interesting, but the school in this case is in Broward County and the SRO was a Broward Country Sheriff’s deputy, not Huston PD, so I don’t see the relevance.

          By the way, Houston is in Harris county, not Broward. Broward county is a couple hundred miles from Houston on the far side of San Antonio.

          1. I actually meant the Texas Houston; didn’t even know about the Broward Huston. It wasn’t really meant to be relevant, just a typically silly trivia fact being rattled off by me. It’s probably less odd than I thought, but it’s really not a common practice anywhere in the NYC area to my knowledge and it strikes me as unusual.

            1. Huston was a typo. The is no Huston or Houston in Broward County, Texas.

    4. The other consistent thing about socialists is that they suddenly love cops when they fail to do their jobs (as long as it advances the dialectic) even though they’ve systematically undermined them (and the rule of law).

      His pension is $60k. He wasn’t making $40k a year. And while I realize that a single AR-15 has been known to depopulate entire continents, here in realityland he was armed with more than a taser.

      1. Looks like somebody has neglected to set his shoulder thing that goes up selector to “depopulate”!

    5. Apparently an unarmed teacher did just that. He threw himself between the shooter and the kids.

      And if an armed security guard is unwilling to engage a guy shooting kids, what the hell are we paying him ANYTHING for. Asshole should work for a free cafeteria lunch and tips if all he’s going to do is hassle kids for cigarettes in their lockers.

    6. inclined to go in taser guns blazing against a guy equipped with an AR-15. Would you?

      Dude has an actual firearm on his belt too. A school resource officer is armed just like every other beat cop, So yeah, I’d take my Glock 19 with 15 round mags against his long arm inside the building.

      As such he probably also had a ‘patrol rifle’ in the trunk of his patrol car. The most common type of patrol rifle in use in the United States is . . . wait for it . . . the AR-15.

      Well, really, I would likely have shit myself just like he did – but his failure to go in was not because he didn’t have what he needed to match the threat.

      And the other two cops that showed up later? All three of them sat that out. Three guys armed with modern semi-automatic pistols are definitely a match for one rando with a rifle.

    7. Why shouldn’t we expect an underpaid sheriff’s deputy to fail to engage a shooter.

      Peterson and THREE OTHER COPS on scene outnumbered Cruz 4-1. They all sat around outside jerking off instead of engaging the shooter and 17 kids were killed.

      So yeah, government agents–the very ones you shitlib cancer cells claim should be the only ones allowed to carry guns–completely and utterly failed.

    8. Because real heroes do it all the time. Check out this story from 2014, where a Texas cop, while holding the reins of two horses, dropped an active shooter from 300 feet away with one shot from his pistol.

      THAT is how cops are supposed to do it.

      http://austin.com/austin-cop-s…..ith-texas/

  18. “It could have and should have been prevented by existing authorities using current laws and policies.”

    Both the president and the Democrats are slogging it out because it’s an election year.

    We can break out the statistical analysis in some other thread about why the Republicans are likely to lose the House in the first midterm after Trump was elected. For this one, suffice it to say that for registered Democrats, the midterms are a referendum on Trump. The only question is how much the Democrat leadership can energize their base–and Trump would be foolish not to try to steal some of their thunder on gun control.

    After all, the chances of the Democrats retaking the House are about the same as the chances of Trump being impeached. The mood among the Democrat rank and file is such that if Pelosi doesn’t impeach Trump, she probably won’t be able to keep her position as Speaker of the House. She may not have any choice but to impeach Trump.

    Trump knows that. His strategists know that. Anything he can do that might prevent the Democrats from taking the House is something he will do.

    We should keep this in mind whenever we see what Trump does between now and November. It’s easy for principled people to lose sight of the big picture when we’re making rational arguments in defense of liberty. We don’t tend to think in terms of petty politics, but sometimes that’s what it’s really all about.

    1. Both the president and the Democrats are slogging it out because it’s an election year.

      It’s always an election year..

      His strategists know that.

      Who are his strategists?

      It’s easy for principled people to lose sight of the big picture

      Then they aren’t too principled, are they?

    2. Bah I hope you and John are right chief. I know I’m a nervous little ninny every time Trump says something about guns. But he is a New Yorker, and not even a Republican New Yorker (not that that counts for much, believe me), and has been saying pro-gun grab things his entire life, and advocated the most extreme Democrat version of No Fly No Buy during the campaign itself, and surveyed those folks (and is unlikely to have been told anything very pro-gun) at Mar a Lago without publicizing it, and is now making some rather strong-sounding noises to the Republican governors, and would indeed be (or would certainly fancy himself) in a good position to Go to China and win a showdown with the NRA for Middle America’s hearts over some of the squishy margins of the gun rights position that are relatively unpopular with Americans (due process shit, age limits, bump stocks, background checks, and even more if we’re not careful) but protected mostly by the general deference they have to the NRA to look out for their rights.

      Ultimately even in my calmer moments I don’t know if I buy this “ignore everything a politician explicitly says he’ll do to the Jews until the moment you see the Zyklon B trucks pull up” line you and John are pushing. Something in between that and my panicky overreactions is probably the wisest course.

      1. Trump might sell our gun rights short, but the odds of that go up after he’s reelected.

        Trump may well do something we don’t like on bump-stocks, age requirements, etc. Personally, I’m more concerned about them selling due process short via protection orders and the easy commitment of the insane than the rest, but that’s something the NRA itself has supported in the past.

        That Trump’s tweets and press announcements often aren’t meant to be taken seriously is a fact. That would be true if we were talking about gun rights or NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem. Because this is an issue that concerns me more than others have in the past doesn’t suddenly change that fact.

        And regardless of how I feel about the principles and rational arguments behind the issues surrounding gun rights, that isn’t what is driving Trump’s thinking on this. That isn’t what’s driving the left on this either.

        We’re will decide who controls the House in seven+ months; the median loss of seats for the president’s party in their first midterms is -24 and the Republicans only need to lose 20 more seats to lose control of the House. The House election will happen in all 435 districts, with no electoral college benefit for Trump, and if the Democrats take the House, the Speaker may have no choice but to impeach the president (if she wants to remain Speaker).

        In light of those facts, it would be irrational for us to think that Donald Trump is acting on heartfelt principle, right?

        1. I like to hope for the best but plan for the worst; so am assuming that the Democrats will gain at least slim majorities on both the House and the Senate, and that they will indeed proceed with impeachment and whatever grounds suits them. That will leave Pence in charge, but not enough legislative votes to override him on anything, so gridlock at best. I can only hope we get another Gorsuch or someone like Willet in the USSC before that happens, but in the meantime will do what I can to mitigate the personal impact on me.

          1. The House only needs a majority to impeach.

            The Senate needs two-thirds to remove a president from office.

            He’ll be impeached.

            I doubt he’ll be removed from office.

            He’ll probably come out the other side of impeachment even stronger.

            If the Democrats hate him so much that they tried to overrule democracy to impeach him, then he can’t be all bad–is the reaction the voters will likely have.

            Anyway, that’s my read of the tea leaves.

            1. “The Senate needs two-thirds to remove a president from office.”

              And there are only 8 Republican held Senate seats up for reelection in 2018. So the odds that there will be enough votes to convict Trump on articles of impeachment are zero.

  19. Its very sad. We should take some steps for stop this kind of actions.
    no deposit car insurance providers

  20. I’d like to know how common it is for the FBI, local law enforcement, and family services agencies to hear stories like Cruz’s. People keep saying that something should have been done because authorities were warned about him and had contacts with him, but how unusual is that, really? Maybe they deal with so many kids like Cruz that he just didn’t stand out from the crowd of crazy kids enough to warrant special attention.

    1. Police to his home over 30 times, online postings of guns and threats, two tips to the FBI, for starters. No, this kid does not exactly blend into the wallpaper.

      1. Are you sure? Maybe such a history is more common than we’d like to believe.

    2. Don’t forget that it is hard to make an arrest without enough evidence, and there is a fight among many out there for the rights of the mentally unstable. The FBI definitely dropped the ball, but having friends in LEO, military and FBI, it is much harder than we like to think to prosecute. Freedom of speech protects some threats made on social media, and if a threat cannot be proven to be viable, or there isn’t evidence of an actual plan being carried out, you can’t keep them in jail forever.

      1. The shooter was throwing chairs at people while he was still in school. There appear to be actual assaults that were not prosecuted for one reason or another.

  21. The 2nd Amendment protects the rights of the People to keep and bear arms from government infringement.

    Government dropped the ball working within its constitutional limitations to prevent or quickly stop the shooting.

    Gun grabbers want government to become bigger and more powerful to prevent people from having guns.

    Wait what?

  22. Honest question I haven’t seen addressed anywhere: what options do the authorities have under current law in situations like these? Where a person has made threats or is acting strangely but hasn’t actually committed a crime yet?

    1. Plenty. The most likely would have been a 72 hour involuntary psychiatric hold (5150), which is pretty easy to attain for an unstable individual with a history of threats to self and others and who has actually carried out self-harm. In many states (I can’t speak to Florida law, though the federal ATF form used to purchase firearms asks about this and can be used to deny a firearm purchase), such a hold makes a person unqualified to purchase firearms for a period of 5 years. There are similar restrictions for even misdemeanor convictions for crimes of domestic violence (again, I can’t speak to Florida law, but the ATF form used to purchase firearms asks about this). It is astonishing that someone somewhere in the law enforcement apparatus never pursued a single one of these options given how often the dude encountered law enforcement.

  23. Broward Country Sheriff Scot Peterson was the school’s armed “resource officer” whose entire job it was to protect students from just such situations.

    This is not true. I’m annoyed when libertarians take the expedient overreach we criticize coming from everyone else. This person’s primary job is breaking up / deterring fistfights and escorting students kicked out of class. Very few people with these core job responsibilities are prepared for a firefight.

    Further the only way to train someone into this is to create the warrior-cop ethos Reason criticizes every chance it gets. We’re now going to turn around and claim we need it? It’s much better to point out “Resource Officers” aren’t Navy Seals and expecting this sort of capability at the almost 100,000 public schools in the country is unreasonable. The problem is not with the person it’s with system design, and the claim these positions can stop such attacks is marketing not reality.

    1. Great argument. People all think they become Rambo in a crisis, but unless you are trained (and even when you are, at times) you do not know how you will react or whether you will go into fight OR flight mode. We all like to think that we would fight, but many people just freeze, panic or run the other way.

    2. “This person’s primary job is breaking up / deterring fistfights and escorting students kicked out of class.”

      No, he wasn’t just a security guard, he was a certified law enforcement officer. Yes, it was part of his job to be prepared for a firefight.

      1. he was a certified law enforcement officer.

        So are meter maids.

    3. Was he allowed to carry a gun to break up fist-fights?

      1. Bingo! I attended high school in a well known “Mafia” part of town. The high school coaches were unarmed, but there was zero problem breaking up fist fights. The only reason to have an armed security guard in any school is to confront and prevent firefights.

  24. Although it’s a different case, the Texas church shooter was not prevented from legally buying guns due to an Airforce error in reporting his crimes of violence against a woman and infant (he cracked the skull of the infant boy in rage). Domestic violence is very common in most of these shooters. Authorities need to do a better job of swiftly prosecuting and locking up violent teenagers and adults.

    Stop imprisoning non-violent drug offenders and instead change the laws to imprison rapists, wife beaters, child molestors and animal torturers. There is something very wrong in our society when someone gets 3 years for selling weed, but no jail time or a slap on the wrist for violent abuse.

  25. Everybody can earn 250$+ daily… You can earn from 6000-12000 a month or even more if you work as a full time job…It’s easy, just follow instructions on this page, read it carefully from start to finish… It’s a flexible job but a good eaning opportunity.For more informatiovn visit site……..

    +_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+ http://www.homework5.com

  26. The solution to any government screwup, is more government.

  27. What exactly were they supposed to do? By the time it gets to engaging the shooter it’s kind of late then. What are they supposed to do with those tips? Investigate and decide that he’s dangerous? Than what, government officials (jackbooted thugs in teabag talk) take guns away from a law abiding citizen? Before he shot those kids Cruz was what the NRA calls a good guy with a gun. That’s the kind of stuff that causes babbling about trees of liberty and third boxes.

    Until it was overturned by the court not long ago it was illegal for Cruz’s doctor to ask him anything about guns

  28. I haven’t seen addressed anywhere: what options do the authorities have under current law in situations like these?
    ????? ?????

  29. Looks like you are correct. The overly wide-set eyes are a dead giveaway. And I seem to remember reading that he was adopted. Could be he was taken away from his birth parents due to their boozing.

    ????? ?????? ????? ??????
    Teacher Update data Azhar.eg
    Employee Info Update azhar.eg

  30. Where a person has made threats or is acting strangely but hasn’t actually committed a crime yet for this?

    Introduction to school radio
    teacher .emis.gov.eg emp_teacher
    Employee Info Update azhar.eg

  31. I keep hearing from the left how so smart the teenagers are because they want more gun control laws.

    I know that they are no so smart because if they were really smart they would be asking why law enforcement screwed up so badly. I guess this makes the adult left no so smart too.

  32. Really? I didn’t see any crimes witnessed by police officers or that victims were willing to press charges about. We’d have to release 800,000 black prisoners to jail every kid who put a vague boast on the inter web or a pix of himself holding a gun.

    This entire group would howl in outrage if LEO came to your house & took your guns before you’d committed a crime, just on a tip or on suspicion.

    To LEO, he was a single jackass kid in a nation of armed, emotional, rude, overbearing jackasses.

    I’d certainly be interested in seeing preemptive seizure pending a mental competency hearing, even without a court order. But that’s not the constitution’s way.

    Sure, it’s easy to think that in parkland it’s okay to roll back the tape and see all the signs. Even money every HS in the nation has at least 1 kid just like this one.

    1. This entire group would howl in outrage if LEO came to your house & took your guns before you’d committed a crime, just on a tip or on suspicion.

      If I’d already had 40 brushes with the law and the FBI was called on me for making terroristic threats using my real name, I suspect just losing my guns would be the least of my concerns.

      You typically don’t see happen in the hood because they know the cops would be on them in an instant to lock their ass up if they acted like Cruz did. The Broward County police force was more concerned with fudging their arrest numbers for good press. And we all know what happened with the Orlando shooter–the guy’s *own father* narced him out to the FBI, and they didn’t do anything until after he’d massacred an entire nightclub.

  33. There may not be a solution. Public employee are held to low standards of performance. We see that often in the news – a public emplpyee screws up, then gets promoted.

  34. #MeToo can destroy men by saying, “harrasser”. BLM can destroy by saying. “racist”. Conservatives can destroy by saying, “coward”. It’s all simplistic and wrong.

  35. my buddy’s step-sister makes $81 /hr on the computer . She has been unemployed for ten months but last month her pay check was $18138 just working on the computer for a few hours. take a look at the site here
    LOOK HERE MORE
    http://www.richdeck.com

  36. Broward County received $54 million over the past few years to not arrest “youth” who had committed crimes, under an Obama-era program. Without this program, Cruz would have probably been arrested and charged, possibly raising red flags in a background check. I wonder whose pockets that $54 million went into?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.