This weekend it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of young people will gather in Washington DC in response of the February 14th shooting in Parkland, Florida at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in an event called the “March for Our Lives.” This area is very familiar for me, as it was within the congressional district that I was honored to represent in 2011-2013. The tragedy there is unconscionable, and so has been the misguided response based not upon rectifying the situation but rather an ideological agenda. What has transpired since February 14, 2018 has been a targeted ideological abuse of young people who have not been allowed to grieve over the trauma of which they were subjected. And the planned protest that is scheduled for this weekend in Washington DC is just another example of the progressive socialist left hijacking a tragedy for their ideological purposes, unconcerned about who they emotionally abuse along the way.
This whole episode began with a very disturbing display in what was termed a CNN Townhall event, hosted by Jake Tapper. The liberal progressive media has had a very deliberate hand in this ideological child abuse and has exposed young people to a level of scrutiny for which they are not prepared.
First, let us begin with the obvious. There is no need for a protest to happen in Washington DC. The focus for any protest in the aftermath of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting should start and end in Broward County Florida. According to a timeline of events, there have yet be any clear answers as to why Nikolas Cruz, a violent student, who was expelled from Stoneman Douglas High School for exhibiting violent behavior did not have such reported to the Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) and recorded. Another critical question that must be asked is: why did a student with a violent history not have a formal report and record submitted by the Broward School Board to the Sheriffs Office? What policies are in place that preclude the sharing of this information, or even the ability of the School Resource Officer from executing their duties? Now, realize that after my retirement, I taught high school for one year in Broward County at Deerfield Beach HS. As well, one of my very close friends was a School Resource Officer in Broward County. I know the answer, one which the liberal progressive left does not want disclosed.
Speaking of School Resource Officers (SRO), when will the protests focus on asking the question of why only one SRO for a campus of over 3,000 students? Anyone knows that that size of school is bigger than some small colleges, which have their own police/security force. And what is the BSO standard, criteria, for assigning a SRO? Common sense would dictate that someone close to retirement is probably not the right person to be charged with safeguarding our most precious treasure, our children. Why is it that – at least I have not seen – BSO DSO Deputy Scot Peterson has not yet been charged with dereliction of duty and criminal negligence? Deputy Peterson had one purpose, to protect the children at Stoneman Douglas High School. He failed his duty. According to the New York Times, in contradiction of Sheriff Scott Israel’s statement that BSO Deputy Peterson should have immediately charged the building instead of taking a position outside, BSO Deputy Peterson said he thought the gunfire originated outside. But anyone that has spent time around weapons knows the difference between a weapon being fired outside, as opposed to inside. And if there was someone who delivered a stand down order to BSO Deputy Peterson, who was it? From reports, we know that Deputy Peterson ‘never went in,” that the shooter was left alone to freely gun down students in what was a “Gun Free Zone” with no armed response, and that armed response cowered away. But no amount of protest in Washington DC will answer those questions.
Nor will a protest in Washington DC answer the question as to why the BSO made 45 visits to the home of Nikolas Cruz for domestic disturbance complaints and without follow-up. Not to mention, who was the FBI agent that dismissed the tips provided on Cruz, one coming as late as January? Perhaps the BSO Sheriff Scott Israel should have been conducting this investigation instead of grandstanding at the CNN Townhall a week later. And recall that we did not find out about the lack of response from Deputy Peterson until after that townhall event. There is no possible excuse for that information not being immediately disclosed, as any good Sheriff would have immediately reviewed the surveillance video and questioned Deputy Peterson and ascertained his actions, or in this case, the lack thereof. See, no great protest march in Washington DC will resolve the question of why BSO Sheriff Scott Israel is still in his position?
There is a reason why we have local school boards. It is not necessary to march on Washington DC to resolve the issue of school safety. There are retired military members who could be authorized as first line of defense in our schools. We need to examine the criteria for selecting SROs and determine what the right SRO to student ratio should be. Obviously, one for 3,000 is not a good equation, especially when that one fails to execute his primary duty.
This is not about a firearm, or the means used to enact this heinous attack. I own two AR-15s and an AR-15 Carbine, along with several 30-round magazines. They sit there threatening no one. The responsibility lies with the individual, and in this case, with a mentally disturbed individual. Blaming 18-20-year-old law-abiding legal gun owners is a distraction, not a solution. And yes, I am a Life Member of the National Rifle Association, and a sitting board member, the nation’s oldest civil rights organization. Denigrating me and the other five million Americans as members of a terrorist organization does not solve anything. But it does fit into an ideological agenda.
Interesting, isn’t it, that hundreds of unborn babies are murdered daily by an organization called Planned Parenthood, and there are no school walkouts? Interesting, isn’t it, that the progressive socialist left uses and abuses the DACA recipients while they refuse a viable solution because their ideological agenda does not include border security?
The progressive socialist left is once again evidencing the mantra of one Rahm Emanuel, who stated, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” The issue of school safety can be solved, but for the left, that is not their aim. Their goal is to disarm Americans. And horribly so, they are willing to emotionally use and abuse our children to accomplish this. Because to the progressive socialist left, it is all about achieving their objectives, “by any means necessary.” They have even gone so far as to include using our traumatized children as fodder for the advancement of their ideological agenda.
Allen West is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army. Mr. West is a Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center to support its mission to expose and neutralize liberal media bias.