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Anti-Gun Protests Focus on NRA when More Evidence Shows Local Problems

August 7, 2018 - 12:30am
Saturday's National March on the NRA in Fairfax, Va.
Saturday's National March on the NRA in Fairfax, Va.

In the months following the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the citizens of Broward County have been subjected to ever-growing evidence community leaders have been culpable -- or at a minimum, neglectful in their duties. Now we learn of more problems, even as the focus of activists continues to be elsewhere.

Said a very misinformed speaker this past Saturday during a Parkland students-led protest of NRA headquarters in Fairfax, Va., “United, we will overcome a Russian-funded NRA that puts profits before lives.” (A question: If they are indeed funded by the Russians, why would there need to be a focus on revenue?) The speech was made during an event dubbed the National March on the NRA, and the timing -- as well as the location -- were rather misguided.

On the very same day the nonprofit Second Amendment organization was accused of profit-chasing, a report commissioned by the Broward School Board in the wake of the Parkland school shooting was released to the public. 

Since the horrific Valentine's Day massacre, when 17 lives were taken by Nikolas Cruz at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, there has been a laundry list of reports detailing various authorities failing the community. This, by allowing the troubled student to go unhelped and to act unhindered.

Adding to the list has been a dark comedy of errors leading to the release of the report. Initially, Cruz’s defense lawyers argued against the commissioning of the report, stating it would prevent any chance of a fair trial. Another point made by counsel identified the report as an attempt by School Board members to clear them of responsibility. However, the board has been embattled with local media over the release of various reports, and security video from the school.

Nikolas Cruz
Nikolas Cruz

On Friday a judge ruled the report was indeed public knowledge and ordered it to be released. But then the 27-page report came out in heavily redacted form. This was said to be done to protect privacy rights; however, the School Board fumbled the effort. Instead of presenting copies of the blacked-out pages, the report was delivered as digital documents. 

The Sun-Sentinel found that when the report was transferred to a secondary file format, the redactions were removed, and the full report was in fact readable.  The Sun-Sentinel published much of it -- an act that disarmed the School Board.

On Monday the board asked a judge to hold the South Florida Sun Sentinel and two of its reporters in contempt of court because, the board says, the newspaper intentionally published information it knew a judge had ordered to be redacted.

"Sun Sentinel reporters Brittany Wallman and Paula McMahon, acting on a Facebook tip from a reader ... discovered on deadline the concealed text could be viewed," the newspaper reported. "The reporters quickly rewrote the story reflecting the entire report, providing the first detailed account about the school shooter's years in the school system, what the district knew about him and what mistakes were made."

Certainly the School Board was interested in more than privacy concerns. It also was interested in protecting the findings that showed a lack of sufficient support for the troubled student. This, despite the fact that Cruz had shown positive progress when placed on a special education campus in the eighth grade.

The apparent errors happened during his high school career. At one point the report notes that, following some behavioral issues, Cruz had been presented with options that were in error. It led to him opting to refuse certain services. Probably more notable, at one point Cruz requested he be placed again at Cross Creek, the school where he responded favorably to the environment therein.

The report states that after the shooter made the request, officials “did not follow through.” The result was, Cruz received no special services, and no counseling, for over a year. This detail contradicts prior claims made by School Board officials that they were powerless to affect the transfer, as he was 18 years old. It also becomes yet another detail showing area authorities were derelict in certain duties.

That is why it was with dismay we saw crowds gathered outside the National Rifle Association offices this weekend. To truly bring forth changes, activists surely had gathered in the wrong location, directing their lectures and outrage at the wrong target.

Brad Slager, a Fort Lauderdale freelance writer, wrote this story exclusively for Sunshine State News. He writes on politics and the entertainment industry and his stories appear in such publications as RedState and The Federalist.

Comments

I'm am willing to bet that no one writing comments disparaging the NRA or the 2nd Amendment has ever gone to war in defense of our freedoms. They have never been to a nation where a despotic ruler has taken all the guns away from the citizens and only his or her government controlled police and military have all the weapons. Much the way Bloomberg spends millions to ban firearms but not for his private security guards. Much the way Anderson laughs at armed guards posted at our schools but his children go to private schools that maintain armed guards. Our morals are fading in America. Crime and gang activity are out of control. 74 shootings in Chicago this past weekend, not one by a licensed responsible gun owner. Law enforcement is failing us or can't keep up. Social media has the ability to totally destroy a kid in High School today; the most socially important (I need to belong and be accepted) years of our life. More kids are snapping. Money is being taken away from mental health programs by corrupt politicians. There was a time when one crime, "IN COLD BLOOD" shocked a whole nation. See the movie. Today those crimes happen everyday in every city and town in America. We don't have an Ellis Island to vet our immigrants anymore. Many come to America with no conscience, did not grow up with the same morals as Americans, do not fear police or prison. I know many who read this post are just jumping on the bandwagon against the NRA because of some loudmouths or maybe a popularity issue or an (I need to belong and be accepted issue) Have some integrity. Choose to be person of character. There was a lot of fault to go around at the Parkland shooting but take a real look, the NRA was not part of it; the NRA is being made the scapegoat. Wake up, the NRA is a gun safety organization with one small part trying to defend one of America's principle freedoms. As it has said, "Guns don't kill people - People kill people" The proof.. I grew up in the 50's graduated HS in the 60's, no one in the entire USA ever shot kids in a school but there were just as many guns around and easier to get.. no license required, just walk into any hardware store and buy one. Some may say well this isn't the same world you grew up in. I say , you have just identified yourself as someone who has never gone to war in defense of our freedoms. But some day, if you have to deal with a real bad guy or two, they come into your home at night, hopefully no children are present, not just to rob and rape, and they don't like to leave witnesses today, and they don't need 2nd amendment rights cause they don't get their guns legally, and I guarantee the police will not arrive in time if you get a chance to call 911, and your karate lessons will not work even if you are the karate instructor. Then you might know the viciousness of a person bent on killing and raping and torture. real sickos. And I'll guarantee one other thing; if you survive, and come to know the meaning and value of self-defense, you will thereafter join the NRA and be glad it is there. The NRA is not the problem it is the solution. Wake up, the anti-gunners are actually the anti-Americans.

So here's the summary of the comments - 1. ochwill is a gun, Republican, and Trump-hating leftist, who simply spouts gun control lobby talking points, most if not all of which are proven lies. 2. 'Ol FL Cracker is a Fudd, who can't figure out that had it not been for the NRA, he'd be hunting with BBs. And yet not a single example of an NRA member committing an unlawful homicide. Registered Democrats on the other hand...

Since 1968 and the deaths of RFK and MLK at the hands of gunmen, the NRA has worked aggressively to block any and all common sense gun safety legislation that would slow down america's increasinging gun violence death rate, now well over 30,000 and soon to exceed car accident deaths. Oliver North their president is a convicted gun trafficker. They have flooded america with military style increasingly lethal weapons for their sponsors, the gun and ammo industry. Oliver North says violent video games are the reason for america's gun violence problem, yet he worked on the violent video game "Call of Duty". 21 concealed carry permit holders have killed policemen since 2008. 75 are awaiting trial on homicide charges. Over 1700 homicides and sucicdes have been committed by concealed carry holders since 2008. They have blocked the ATF from having a modern gun industry using state of the art computers . America's gun violence problem is 25 times worse than the average of the world's wealthy nations. America needs common sense gun safety legislation.

Rfk,jfk, mlk were all partial state sanctioned murders by elements of defense and the cia. The first crime was that a cabal got away with the murders fronting lone gunmen when there were obvious conspiracies. The second crime is using the first crime to further destroy democracy and erode the natural right of a once free people to bear arms.

That is a lot of lying in that paragraph. You do realize that the people here are smarter than that.

The second amendment is a law on the government it prohibits them from regulating our weapons, no exceptions.

Just one other question. Why in the hamster would a foreign nation promote American citizens owning guns. There is no scenario out there where that is a good idea for them.

Details please, what country, who said it, documentation ie: proof ??

I dont think the NRA is the real problem here. I think CNN / MSNBC / FOX etc push a false narrative they are paid to push. I am not an nra member but i am an nra supporter(mostly). NRA from what i have seen from the outside does little other then promote gun safety, training and general knowledge. That said it looks like a large part of their funding comes from the gun industry which makes sense dead people dont buy guns. There is a downside as well they tend not to support legislation that doesn't benefit gun manufactures. I think the nra was made a target to give anti-gun groups a "bad guy" when infact the problem is the politician both left and right that we all voted for. Lets face it congress plays the biggest blame game in history and its works well as long as they have organizations like SPLC and NRA to make bad guys out of to focus the public on anything but what they are really doing.

Excellent analysis! If you will recall, a short time after the incident there was a large meeting in which the sheriff blamed the NRA.

If you think the GRU is not involved in the NRA, you are either incredibly misinformed, live in a bubble, or just an idiot. Most will likely fall into the latter category unfortunately...

Tell me, are these "Russians" in the room with you right now?

You like it up the butt don't you. Wink wink

No, but your mom does...

Evidence, please?

If you think the gru IS involved with the NRA you are evidently incapable of knowing what is happening in the real world and you need to submit yourself to a hospital for observation.

The NRA used to be a good organization back in my day. It actually promoted gun safety and common sense gun laws. Those days are long gone. The reality is, the NRA of today, just buys politicians for its own agenda of laws and votes... Aside from that, the school system and law enforcement was culpable in this, but so was the FBI and DCF. It was clearly a bipartisan failure of epic proportions. So, before you go trying to put all the blame in your partisan direction or prop the NRA you little whipper-snapper. Do your homework youngin...

Do your homework. The NRA still is serious involve in gun safety, etc. They have a separate division that deals with people trying to take away our right. And I'm an old fart.

Your comments on the NRA of today would hint that you need to do YOUR homework better as well.

based on what Jeffy? If you looked at the NRA's expense/tax documents (and I have) you would see where the money goes (Member Support is another word for buying folks). It is why I choose not to be a member anymore...

Could someone tell me again, how did this *** get a hold of an assault rifle in the first place? Was it the lousy school officials, the local cops OR WAS IT EXTREMELY WEAK LAWS pushed for decades by the NRA?

Because numerous agencies failed to properly respond to the various issues this youth presented. If his blatant emotional issues had been reported, or if his direct threats to commit violence led to an arrest, then he never would have cleared a background check.

He didn't have an assault rifle you idiot he had a semi-auto rifle!

I love it when they call it a fully semi auto rifle. Fricken idiots know nothing about guns. First of all Cruz by law never shouldve had a gun. He punched his mom in the face and knocking teeth out. That is domestic violence. Right their no guns aloud. That is on police and fbi they all new it. They trying to cover it up blaming everybody eles.

Gotta love people that comment on firearms laws that have never actually bought one. Ok Joe I'll tell you. This cretin was able to purchase a semi automatic rifle because nobody in Coward Broward County raised a flag on him. If they had he would have been rejected on his background check. Blaming the NRA for gross incompetence by Floriduh "officials" shows either your ignorance or your partisan bias.

There are no "Extremely Weak Laws" on the books and the NRA does not push for such. The gun laws are more draconian than lax. It is only due to ignorance of the laws that folks claim that they are weak. For example; I continually hear about the so called 'Gun Show Loophole". What on earth is that? At EVERY Gun show, EVERY gun sale is preceded by the same comprehensive background check that is performed at any gun store. That there are background checks at all is due to the laws that the NRA SUPPORTED. The only laws that the NRA opposes are laws that would do nothing to curb crime, but would only harm the rights of the law-abiding. Most gun control laws actually do more harm than good. Look at Chicago. The gun crime there is out of control, yet they have some of the most stringent and severe gun control in the country. Places that have more permissive gun laws have less crime and scientific studies back this. Every mass shooting since 1950 (there might be one exception, but I am unsure of that) has occurred in a "Gun Free Zone". Law Abiding citizens use firearms in stopping or preventing crime over two million times per year. The NRA strongly supports and provides safety training to citizens and police. The NRA also supports legislation that would materially reduce gun crime. However most of this is in the form of laws that address the root causes of gun crime and are not merely ineffective laws that are for show and address symptoms and not the cause; especially laws that again, only infringe of Second Amendment rights but would be utterly ineffective at curbing crime. The NRA is the oldest and probably the largest Civil Rights organization in America and they support ALL of the Bill of Rights, not just the Second Amendment. They provide safety training to kids in the form of the Eddie Eagle Program; training for citizens; safe outlets and venues for the enjoyment of the shooting sports and are staunch supporters of Law Enforcement. They are a private organization that is funded by members only. So, when I hear folks denigrating the NRA and look at their accusations, I am appalled at their ignorance. They know NOTHING about the NRA outside of the slanderous lies perpetrated by some vocal know-nothings who are frustrated at their failure of legislative infringement of basic civil rights and seek other means to further their agenda. The absolute refusal of these people to have a discussion on facts and merits reveals only two things; the bankruptcy of their position on facts and the tacit admission that their concern with gun control has NOTHING to do with safety, but everything to do with CONTROL. Don't believe this? Show me any of the most vocal pro-gun control advocates that do NOT have armed security for themselves. If they really believed that guns are evil, and that people should not have them, then why are they protected by guns while trying to deny the same protections for us all?

You said it just like I would say it I’ll just use your words every chance I get you just hit it out the park Thanks for that comment

AWWWWW you anti-gunners who know nothing need a safe space, with crayons & coloring books?

What happened in Parkland was an epic failure of the school system and law enforcement. It had nothing to do with the NRA. Enough said, fix the bureaucratic mess that allowed this to happen!

The NRA is a toxic far right extremist organization devoted to a guns everywhere agenda. Its patrons, the gun and ammo industry support this. Shameful and vile organization.

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