Passing new gun laws would not have done a thing to stop Florida killer Nikolas Cruz. There were laws to stop him. Although the gun shop owner did nothing wrong, that is the person the misguided public are tormenting. He is not the one who failed to act.
We know the FBI dropped the ball at least twice. The last warning came on January 5th when a caller close to Cruz warned the FBI that he had a gun and might shoot up a school. As it turns out, the police were also warned and had accumulated 39 reports or more on a violent Cruz. His mother was afraid of him and alerted police to him wanting to buy a gun.
Besides law enforcement, adult welfare investigators (DCF) were involved and deemed him to be “low risk”. That’s a story in itself.
All knew about the gun and his violent tendencies. But it’s the innocent gun shop owner who is being threatened online.
THREATENING AN INNOCENT GUN SHOP OWNER
It’s gotten so bad that he had to close down his shop until further notice. Although police say the sale was completely legal, the backlash against Sunrise [Tactical Gun Shop] has been swift and severe on its Yelp page. Some commenters call the company “merchants of death,” and say it’s “complicit” in the Florida shooting because they sold the rifle to an 18-year-old “with mental problems.”
The owner is being harassed and his business threatened. The Internet mob is angry with the wrong people.
The DCF, the FBI, and the police did nothing to keep Nikolas Cruz from failing the background check. That isn’t the gun shop owner’s fault.
This isn’t a gun case. It’s a case of authorities not doing their job and/or, perhaps, having too few options for handling a mentally deranged youth.
Cruz’s adoptive father died when he was only about four years of age, and his mother died from pneumonia last November at age 68.
The school shooter was adopted at birth along with his brother. One of Cruz’s relatives said Nikolas was autistic.
Cruz’s mother was afraid of him. He was a threat to her and himself. The difficult youth was incorrigible from about age 11 or 12.
CRUZ HAD A VIOLENT HISTORY
Lynda Cruz called police repeatedly after fights in the family home, including a Jan. 15, 2013, blowout where the infuriated teen threw a chair, a glass and a dog bowl at his mother, according to reports obtained by CNN.
It was one of the more disturbing reports. Nikolas — then only 14 years of age — refused to attend school. He exploded in anger after Lynda Cruz hid her son’s Xbox as a punishment.
The youth “retaliated and threw a chair, dog bowl and a drinking glass across the room” before denouncing his mom as a “useless b—h,” according to the police report.
Nikolas was handcuffed and held in the back of a police car until a counselor from a nearby behavioral health facility arrived with prescribed medicine that calmed him down.
Cruz tried to buy a gun before he was 18 and finally did buy an AR-15 when he turned 18.
As outlined in one of the many police reports, Lynda Cruz summoned police after Cruz turned irate as they discussed his getting a Florida state ID card — a necessity for his purchase of a rifle.
The mother told police who came to their home that her son had expressed his interest in buying a gun before turning 18.
“He has mentioned in the past that he would like to purchase a firearm,” noted one of the 39 reports filed by cops responding to his Parkland, Fla., home between 2011 and 2016.
The police paperwork included references to Nikolas Cruz as a “mentally ill person” who at one point smacked his mom with a plastic vacuum cleaner hose.
THE INVESTIGATION FIVE MONTHS BEFORE THE MURDERS
Despite the volume of calls and the detailed reports, Cruz had no problem buying an AR-15 rifle from a Coral Springs, Fla., gun shop in February 2017.
Cops called to the house four days after Cruz turned 18 on Sept. 24, 2016, were told by Lynda Cruz that the youth had started “cutting his arms … to get attention.”
This prompted an investigation by sheriff’s deputies and adult welfare investigators from the Department of Children & Family Services.
The DCF investigation came four days after Cruz’s 18th birthday when he became eligible to buy a gun. DCF was aware of his interest in guns.
“It is unknown what he is buying the gun for,” the DCF report reads.
Investigators concluded there were “some implications” for Cruz’s safety but determined he was receiving adequate support from his school and outpatient care from Henderson Mental Health in Broward County. They declared him to be a “low risk” since he resides with his mother, attends school and receives counseling through Henderson.”
They never followed up. If they had, they would have discovered his mother died, he was expelled from school, and stopped going to counseling. The mental health clinic also didn’t notify anyone that he stopped coming.
If we pass more laws, it better be to do something about the DCF response, the FBI response and the communication between local police and the FBI.
The Texas church shooter also cleared an FBI background check, despite being a felon.
One year after purchasing his rifle and five months after a DCF investigation, Cruz marched into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and slaughtered 17 innocent people, wounding another 16.
Defense lawyers are calling him a “child”, although he is 19 years of age. They say he is very remorseful. Cruz is just a lonely, lost child, they claim. It would be naive to think that’s true.