In days gone by, a massacre of students like the atrocity at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School would have brought us together.
But like so many atrocities before it, this mass murder is tearing us apart.
The perpetrator, the sick and evil 19-year-old who killed 17 innocents with a gun is said to be contrite.
Having confessed, he faces life in prison. For the next half-century, Nikolas Cruz will be fed, clothed, sheltered and medicated at the expense of Florida taxpayers, including the families of those he murdered.
Cruz’s punishment seems neither commensurate with his crimes nor a deterrent for sick and evil minds contemplating another Columbine.
It didn’t use to be this way.
On Feb 15, 1933, anarchist Giuseppe Zangara tried to assassinate President-elect Franklin Roosevelt in Miami. His arm jostled, he killed instead Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak. Five weeks later, on March 20, 1933, Zangara died in the electric chair.
Swift, sure and pitiless, but that legal justice system worked.
With Cruz, the system failed up and down the line.
Cruz should never have been allowed to purchase or possess a gun. He was angry, alienated, isolated. Police had been to his family home to deal with complaints 39 times. Yet he had no arrest record when he purchased his AR-15.
Classmates at Douglas High had speculated that if there ever were a school shooting, Cruz would be the one to do it. The FBI was alerted a month before that Nikolas Cruz was a time bomb ready to explode.
As the NRA’s Dana Loesch told CPAC Thursday:
“The government can’t keep you safe and some people want us to give up our firearms and rely solely upon the protection of the same government that’s already failed us numerous times to keep us safe.”
As for the AR-15, it is the most popular rifle sold. Five million to 8 million are in circulation. Veterans since Vietnam have trained with, and many fought with, the M16, which is first cousin to the AR-15. Veterans are among the millions who own them.
While all agree AR-15s should be kept out of the hands of crazies like Cruz, the establishment insists that it is the gun that is the problem.
We hear demands that AR-15s be banned and confiscated.
Proponents should put that proposition to a vote. But a prediction: The moment it is brought up for a vote, sales of AR-15s will explode, as they have before. If the weapon is banned, as alcohol was banned in Prohibition, millions of law-abiding Americans will become law-breakers.
And who will barge into America’s homes to seize and collect the rifles?
Moreover, if people have decided to mass murder classmates or co-workers, inviting “suicide by cop,” are they going to be stopped from acquiring a semiautomatic by a Congressional law?
Have our drug laws halted drug use?
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