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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

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.

Your ignorance of what the NRA is and does is deafening. Do some fact checking outside of parroting editorials by other ignorant folks prior to forming your opinions. What do your really KNOW about the NRA? How much research into the facts of the matter have you personally done?

People like YOU are the true problem and the true enemy.

You're just another misinformed whining liberal who knows nothing about the NRA. God Bless the NRA!! MAGA!

look at the NRA they have for years provided school safety programs through the National School Shield. They have a comprehensive program that works with the community leaders, law enforcement and school officials that is a very tailored program to protect the schools. I might add this program is offered free of charge being funded by the NRA members. However very few schools have availed themselves of this program mainly because the media and the anti-gun coalitions have demonized the NRA. The NRA has had nothing whatsoever to do with any of the school shootings other major shootings and general criminal behavior by the public. Public education and public safety has been the bulwark of the NRA. The only response the public has is to trash them following the lead of the anti gun coalition, members of Congress, national media and MSD in Parkland, FL.

those days are long since gone young kig...

So the ceaseless problems with local officials from numerous agencies that led to the tragedy have no interest to you, and you will blame an organization with no viable connection whatsoever. That should fix none of the problems.

as long as you name all of the organizations that failed this boy and system, instead of just the one's that help support your agenda...

BSO, Broward School Board, MSD Shool administration, FBI, Health Family Services I've written how all of these had details on Cruz and failed to act to help him or prevent his violence.

why did you leave them out in this article?

Because those was specific to recent acts by the school board. As I said, I have previously covered those other instances.

How did this discussion become about the NRA? It was the inept School Board that can't even release a redacted document without showing their bureaucratic bungling. And another thing how did the NRA cause any negative activity at MSD in the first place? At the rally in front of NRA headquarters there were signs saying "NRA stop killing our kids." How does one wrap their head around that kind of hysteria?

No matter the “spin” from Broward County and shills like Hogg, the school, school board and police are entirely to blame for this shooting! Trying to pas the buck to the NRA is pathetic and pointless

The NRA has worked hard to block common sense gun safety legislation since 1968. Wake up

you're right Och

Just because some politician who seeks to be seen doing something, even if it is useless, calls some proposed law "Common Sense" does not automatically mean that it really IS common sense. To date, I have yet to see one of the proposed "Common Sense" measures contain actual common sense and promise any benefits that would outweigh their faults and infringements on basic civil rights. Virtually every one would cause more harm than good and have little if any actual effect on gun crime. Before you parrot the phrase "Common Sense", do you homework and see if that moniker really applies.

Common Sense gun legislation would include EDUCATION. When people understand that safety of weapons depends upon the person handling the weapon. That needs to be backed up with programs that include an inter-connected database so background checks can be made AND tools that help get guns out off the street. This last leg of which I spoke will never be fully implemented because CRIMINALS will always find ways to get weapons and other items. YEA....the left's war on guns is about as successful as the nation's war on drugs.

You're just another whining liberal who knows nothing about the NRA. Define what "common sense" gun safety legislation is. If you can't then you should shut up and get off your parents couch and get a job!

time to follow your own advice there Artie and get off that Gov't teat, SS...

And after taking another sip of Kool Aid, we can blame the 70 people shot (resulting in 11 deaths) in Chicago last week on the NRA as well with this kind of distorted logic. There's absolutely zero casual relationship between either events and the NRA. Guns do not kill people, demented souls with no inherent value system who obtain firearms in nefarious ways do.

Glad to see that both the NRA and Ron Desantis have opined the handicap-parking place shooter in Pinellas SHOULD HAVE BEEN ARRESTED.

shit, TreSantis is just trying to follow the popular crowd...

I've heard it said that the NRA contributed $31 million to the 2016 Trump campaign ... another $61 million to various Republican congressional candidates ... and spent some $128 million overall to the 2016 election. I also understand that the NRA has just about 5,000 dues-paying members. If that's all true, then the NRA contributed an overall amount to the 2016 election equating to some $25,600 from each of its dues-paying members! Now, we know those NRA members didn't each "contribute" an average of $25,600 to the campaign through the NRA ... SO ... WHERE DID THE $128 MILLION ACTUALLY COME FROM ???

Proven facts please, not “I heard it said.” It is comments like your's that have created a lot of the turmoil since Trump got elected. if you are so interested, prepare a list of suspected recipients of NRA money and check their campaign financial reports. Better than starting unsubstantiated rumors; however, I am will to bet good money you will not follow through.

Where’d you get those numbers? million Nra members. They give less each election cycle than any union or planned parenthood gives. You believe they’re the big, bad enemy when they put their money into safety training.

You're so stupid!! Go NRA!!!

You're so stupid!! Go NRA!!!

Artie, your 3rd grade education is starting to show thru... Go Trump the Chump!

I don't know where you get your info from but you are sorely mistaken! I'm the NRA! I served 30 yrs U.S.N. The NRA is over 4.5 million strong & counting. We do not condone the type of violence in Parkland, FL. You had better do your homework '

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