|Anytime changing the 2nd amendment or strict gun control is brought up it is regarded as sacrilegious by the NRA, the gun advocates and the old school gun nuts. The NRA and their lobbyists have long paid off congressmen and women against creating strict gun control legislation that could save thousands of lives in the United States. Cartoon provided by Px Molina of the cartoon movement based on the gunman's own social media photo.|
Author's note: The title the horror that children see refers to the horror and terror children witness happening around them. Sometimes the horrors come in the form of violence from adults via blood curling screams, violence and war. The U.S. is still paralyzed and rightly so by Wednesday February 14th school shooting at the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High school in Parkland, FL. It was not only Valentine's Day but also Ash Wednesday which starts the beginning of Lent for Catholics. It was a terrorist attack in every sense of the phrase. It should be repeated that shootings like this are rare in other countries. The former student of the Stoneman High school, Nikolas Cruz 19 years old shot and murdered 17 of his own former school mates without remorse. His weapon was an AR-15, a military style weapon that involves specialized training for soldiers to use. In other countries it would be next to impossible to get such a weapon even with a gun license and legal requirements. It is shocking that neither Cruz' neighbors or parents raised an eyebrow when he brought the rifle home nor when his friend's parents locked up the rifle in their house. First question is why would a young man need such kind of weapon? Even hunters using AR 15 has been condemned by animal rights activists. Why in the world would a military style rifle be available for an ordinary person to purchase?
He used a fire alarm (that is often used as a regular drill for school safety and high school prank to scare fellow students and teachers) to coax hundreds of students and teachers to leave their respective classrooms assuming that a fire drill was going on at 2pm. Naturally, the students and teachers began to head out of the school building only to be blind sided and caught up in ricocheting gunfire. A SWAT team was able to respond immediately to the horror at the school. It also worth noting that some of the students thought the shooting was a drill at first. The young terrorist attempted to flee with follow students and teachers who survived. He managed to reach a Subway than a Walmart an unusually long time for him to go free. He was finally arrested by local police. Cruz who was captured alive and is now facing a day and half of interrogation He is obsessed with the U.S. Army and is painted as a strange loner. There are introverts and loners in high schools across the country who'd never fathom or even think of harming their fellow classmates and teachers. The stereotype that loners are all potential deranged gunman doesn't hold true. The FBI had known about Cruz prior to Wednesday. It appears to be a reoccurring theme that the FBI had knowledge of the gunmen before the shootings (technically terror attacks) take place. Why didn't the FBI stop Cruz or kept monitoring him after January 5th, 2018 when they knew Cruz wasn't shy about declaring he could commit a school shooting? The Parkland police had received some multiple calls from Cruz' parents and the school about his behavior as well.
The terrorist is AmericanCruz had trained with the Republic of Florida, a local white supremacist group. The leader of the Republic of Florida, Jordan Jereb confirmed that Cruz had trained with them once. But was quick to add that he didn't know Cruz personally and tried to deny his group's connection to Cruz. Cruz's training background, fascination with guns, indoctrination of racism, matches that of Dylan Roof, another young gunman turned murderer who was also self radicalized on white supremacist ideology and extreme racism. For decades now, the FBI, Homeland Security, the ADL, Southern Poverty Law Center that studies the growth, shrinking and popularity of hate groups have warned U.S. society about the dangers the right wing extremism poses to the United States outweighing the terror threat from ISIS and other foreign groups. Most times, these domestic terrorists are not crazy or have any mental health problems. According to the ADL's recent publish report on terrorism in the U.S., 60% of terror attacks in country including extremism are carried out by American terrorists especially the lone wolf shootings. Despite what the Fox News and Online America News would have the public believe, most of America's domestic terrorists are white men. The white identitarian movement and the "Alt Right" movement (they are the same neo nazis of yesterday and present who have transformed themselves into chic, modern college groups) will jump up and shout that they are not terrorists that "leftists" are terrorist too and they are using the shooting to demonize them and take away guns. The "they do it too" argument is often used by right wing groups and gun rights groups to avoid holding the American terrorist (ie gunman) responsible for their actions and to deflect attention away from getting to the root cause (failure to impose strict gun control) and the why as well as self reflection after horrific events such as shootings. Everyone knows about the left wing militants of the past. Cruz wasn't a leftist or moderate. Politics wasn't a motivation for what he had done. It's not the anarchists or anti-Trump protesters shooting in schools or justifying the NRA's stupid logic that teachers should have guns to avoid future school shootings. It would be similar to using a flame thrower to fight a house fire.
Gun rights over human life?Florida is also an open carry state and a stand your ground state much like neighboring states of Georgia and the Carolinas. Travyon Martin was killed on the way home in Sanford, FL by self proclaimed Neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman who kept following the teen. Zimmerman had no business following Martin even after "he asked why are you following me." Zimmerman later used the stand your ground ie shooting someone dead because the gunman felt threaten. It's telling that no one including the media pundits and the protesters calling for gun reform do not bring up Florida's gun laws that protects the gun owners and gun nuts but not the victims of gun terrorism and violence including children.
It takes maturity to change minds
Japan and Australia witnessed some of the worst shootings in school and parks in 1990s. The horror alone opened ordinary citizens and governments eyes for the immediate need for gun control. Australian government famously brought back 600, 000 guns from diehard hunters, gun owners and advocates who understood the need to prevent future mass shootings on the scale of 1996 Port Arthur Massacare. The 2014 Lindt Sydney hostage crisis that killed two hostages was carried out by a lone gunman Man Haron Monis suffering from depression. Again, Australian legislature put in more restrictive measures on possessing stolen and illegal fire arms. There was protest against it. It passed either way. Japan has some of the strictest gun laws in the world. In addition to getting a license and a background check, the person purchasing a gun must also take a mental competency test at a hospital and drug tests. Keep in mind that Japan has citizens with mental problems and hundreds of people the hikkimori who literally shut themselves off from the world. Yet, hikikomori who would be extreme loners by American standards have rarely shot up a school. The Japanese government has been reaching out to hikikomoris over the years. The most notorious school massacre to occurred in Japan was the Osaka school massacre at Ikeda Elementary in 2001. A mentally disturbed janitor Mamoru Takuma who suffered from paranoid personality disorder attacked and killed 8 students and injured 15 using a kitchen knife. The massacre shocked Japan to its core to the point that school security was added to the school a first in Japan at the time. It led to national questions about Japanese government's policies toward mental health, victims' rights and how best to deal with crimes overall. It is not impossible for the U.S. to reform and reconsider its long standing 2nd Amendment rights and gun laws.