Broward County Sheriff’s OfficeHow 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.