Sunday, February 18, 2018

Failing to Prevent a Preventable Massacre

Today, Kevin Williamson weighs in on the FBI and the Lakeland Sheriff’s office. He wants to know how they failed to prevent an eminently preventable massacre.

The FBI and local law enforcement bear considerable responsibility for the Nikolas Cruz rampage. Right now, like the good little bureaucrats they are, they are covering up their dereliction.

Williamson’s style is inimitable, often copied, rarely equaled:

As was reported on Friday, the FBI had been alerted that a particular pasty-faced virgin down in Florida was probably going to shoot up his old school. He had put up social-media posts to that effect, cleverly shielding his identity from the steely-eyed G-men by signing his legal name to those public threats. The epigones of J. Edgar Hoover may not be Sherlock Holmes, but presumably they can read, and some public-minded citizen took some screen shots and sent them to the FBI.

The FBI of course did what the relevant authorities did in the case of Omar Mateen, the case of Nidal Hasan, the case of Adam Lanza: nothing.

We could replace these guys with trained monkeys, if we could train monkeys to be self-important.

How did the bureau explain its dereliction? It declared that it was following protocols. Just in case you do not understand protocols, Williamson explains:

The FBI has “protocols” for handling specific credible threats of that sort, “protocol” here being a way of saying, “Pick up the phone and call the local field office or, if we really want to get wild, the local police.” “The protocol was not followed,” the FBI bureaucrats explained. Well, no kidding. Why not? No answer — the question wasn’t even asked aloud. Did law enforcement’s ball-dropping mean that a preventable massacre went unprevented because of bureaucratic failure? “I don’t think anybody could say that,” says Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, who is leading the investigation. His department had over the years received no fewer than 20 calls related to the shooter. What about that? “Make no mistake about it, America, the only one to blame for this incident is the killer himself,” which is exactly the sort of thing a sanctimonious schmuck says when he doesn’t want to consider the institutional failures right in front of his taxpayer-subsidized nose and the culpable negligence — to say nothing of the sand-pounding stupidity — of his own agency.

For those of us who repair to facts when we are looking for perspective, Williamson puts it all in context. How many agents does the FBI have?

The FBI has a budget of $3.5 billion, almost all of which goes to salaries, benefits, and other personnel costs. Do you know how many employees the FBI field office in South Florida has? It has more than 1,000. Do you know how many employees the FBI has in total? It has 35,158 employees. It has 13,084 agents and 3,100 intelligence analysts.

And not one of them could pick up the phone to forward vital intelligence gathered by the grueling investigative work of picking up the phone and taking a tip from a tipster. Would the sheriff have taken that call more seriously than his department took the 20 other calls relating to the killer? Impossible to say.

Since Christopher Wray does not have the strength of character to resign and since he seems clearly to be incompetent, Williamson recommends that he be fired. If that doesn’t work, he adds, a good whipping might be in order.


Ares Olympus said...

Hating on the FBI is fashionable these days. But public embarrassment seems sufficient punishment to do better next time. So now, whenever a boss asks an underling G-man "Stop with that Youtube school-shooting threat, probably just a stupid kid trying to sounds like a big shot, and get back to proving collusion between our president and the Russians", the G-man just has to say "Parkland" and his boss will STFU.

I saw Ross Douthat offered his middle ground, no AR-15s for 18-year olds, unless they're in the military of course, but probably they still shouldn't bring them home. And if someone has a weapon they're not supposed to have, the owner of the gun can also be charged.
Perhaps the self-arming of citizens could be similarly staggered. Let 18-year-olds own hunting rifles. Make revolvers available at 21. Semiautomatic pistols, at 25. And semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15 could be sold to 30-year-olds but no one younger.

Of course that won't help with the Vegas mass-shooter or bump stocks. Sadly age alone doesn't always mellow men out. Stopping homicidal older men who haven't yet committed a crime seems more difficult.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Who hates the FBI, Ares? I just want them to do their job and be apolitical.... like they’re supposed to do and be.

Jack Fisher said...

AO, you're blaming everyone to the point of incoherency. Even you could replicate a bumpstock with a finger and a belt loop. I still believe we should take your PT Cruiser away since no can be certain you won't murder schoolchildren with it.

IAC, unfortunately, the FBI has always been political, J Edgar being the worst player.

James said...

"the FBI has always been political," absolutely.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Gentlemen, just because the FBI has always been political does not mean that we shouldn’t expect more fro them, and the best from them.

And we should also keep in mind thy Congress passed a law that the FBI Director should be limited to two terms, in light of J. Edgar Hoover’s transgressions. Quite sensible. And Congress abandoned the. When they extended Mueller’s time as Director to three terms. And now he’s Speciak Counsel. Not a smart move.., twice.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Ares, I was raised to understand “hate” as a strong term. I continue to view it this way.

Yet you and most of those sharing your opinions seem to regularly cast others you disagree with as filled with “hate” or being “hate-filled.”

You condemn others as “hateful,” and demand they answer for their “hate.”

Could it be that you are hateful and them project it on others? Given your amateur fascination with psychology, I would think you’d see this as a possibility.

Or perhaps you are so filled with your own “hate” that you are blinded to this possibility.

A pity.

I am growing tired of the word “hate” being thrown around by self-congratulatory, self-proclaimed “kind” people who are actually hateful people who lack any sense of self-awareness.

Ares, this just in: you do blame everyone. And it is incoherent. Time to go back to the drawing board and do your writing on your own blog and spare us your endless Holden Caufiield-like journal entries.

Ares Olympus said...

IAC: You condemn others as “hateful,” and demand they answer for their “hate.”

Have I demanded anything? I didn't realize. You'll have to explain what I've demanded.

To be more clear, a phrases like this sound hateful to me "We could replace these guys with trained monkeys, if we could train monkeys to be self-important." Maybe you'd like to argue that it is just frustration and contempt against people we're not supposed to care about.

For me the FBI's admission that they dropped the ball on this case is a good sign, not a reason to pack on the criticism even more.

The difficult thing is that the harsher blame is applied to mistakes, the more you encourage people to cover up their mistakes, and try to redirect blame elsewhere. And so I think its best to keep "moralistic judgment" out of criticism whenever possible, if you're really interested in making things work better.

Certainly there's going to be chances for some yelling behind closed doors, and the reputation of the FBI is at stake, not your reputation or mine. So we should largely trust internal error correction will happen regardless of our feelings.

Redacted said...

I have a better, more effective gun control proposal: no guns, at all, ever, for Democrats.

Now I know that some Democrats like Michael Moore and Robert Downey Jr (whose guns were confiscated due to felony drug infractions), and Mayor Bloomberg and President "Lightworker" Obama who hide behind phalanxes of grim men and womyn with guns, aren'going to like having their guns and gunpersons taken away.

But... assuming gun control works as advertised, the homicide rates in Chicago, Baltimore, Memphis, Oakland, Detroit, etc., would crater. Since most US counties did not see a single homicide in 2014, we can assume going forward that a reduction in urban, heavily Democrat counties will have a most salubrious effect on the overall US homicide rate.

If it saves one life...

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Good observation... in the midst of the gun control frenzy no one has said a word about where most of the gun-caused homicides are taking place. Again, it is easier to blame the guns or the NRA... rather than to blame the people who are committing the crimes. And, of course, the fact, as you mention, that blue cities are leading the nation in gun violence.

Anonymous said...

Until we begin to see this as a cultural problem that has grown worse since the 60's we will not find a solution. Many of us grew up in the 50's where one could, at any high school, go out to the parking lot and find a significant number of trucks with gun racks containing at least 2 rifles. They were never taken into these schools, but were always available if one needed them. Guns were a part of our lives so we knew how to use them, were trained to use them safely and respected what they were capable of doing.
So with all of these guns how come we did not see school shooting, et al? The culture at that time taught us respect for adults, teachers, our fellow students and others in general.
For a school like Parkland that prides itself on acceptance and where everyone seemed to know about the shooter it seems strange that no one cared enough to help this individual. The "See Something, Say Something" appears to have fallen on deaf ears. I am just enough of a cynic that one wonders if all this emphasis on guns is a guilt reaction by all the parties who should have done something. Why do we keep running away from the real problem vice blaming things. Predictable and preventable if the current laws were enforced and people actually cared. Add social media and one has a large number of people who are isolated from their neighbors and almost every other human being. The hate spewed on these sites is deleterious to human beings.

Jack Fisher said...

As other sources have pointed out recently, a solution might be something along the lines of California's temporary restraining order that allows LEO or family members to petition a court for an order requiring a person to surrender guns and ammo for a 21 day period (which may be extended) upon a showing of clear and convincing evidence that the person is a threat to himself or others. Clear and convincing is an intermediate standard of proof between preponderance of the evidence and beyond a reasonable doubt.

here is the form of the order:

Mikey Bloomberg said...

Sure! More legislation copied and pasted from the land of left-wing loons and rich Hollywood stars is the ticket!

Jack Fisher said...

hey mikey, find a way to contribute like an adult or go f' yourself.

Ares Olympus said...

Mikey was clearly taught by the best in the NRA, and his cold, dead hands are the only way his guns or ammo are going to be taken away.

It would seem impossible to reason with the fantasies of a paranoid delusional. How do you convince someone he's much more likely to commit suicide with one of his guns than shoot a bad guy?

We're literally now in a country now where gun manufacturers need a Democrat as president, so the 3% who own half the guns will keep buying more after every mass shooting.

Jack Fisher said...

AO, deciphering your dog vomit isn't worth the effort.

Unknown said...

Relying on government to protect you and your kids from mass shooters only makes YOU the fool. No one...not one person at that school...shot back at Cruz. Why? Because all of you are too chicken**** to raise hell and demand that your schools are secure and armed. You KNOW the shooters are coming...sooo...why don't you take the necessary steps to protect your kids from being slaughtered?

Ares Olympus said...

Jack, I certainly would never ask you to dissect or swallow anyone's vomit besides your own or that of your own dog.

I don't know about "repeal the second amendment" but it does seem like a major reinterpretation is in order, a restored interpretation to what is obvious to anyone who isn't a new-NRA fanatic.

The interpretation that the Second amendment meant unlimited access for citizens to own any weapon they like for any reason is relatively new and its up to the right cases to be argued at the SCOTUS to find out if sanity can be restored, and with Scalia happily gone, anything is worth trying. Reinterpret, Don’t Repeal, Tom Ginsburg, Leo Spitz Professor of International Law, University of Chicago
Whatever the founders meant, the Supreme Court had never struck down a local gun restriction as being unreasonable until the 2008 case of Heller v. D.C., which held that the right was individual and unconnected to either militia service or self-defense. In 2010, the Court extended this interpretation of the Second Amendment to apply to the states in McDonald v. City of Chicago. Before that, we enjoyed a long history of reasonable, safety-oriented regulations of firearms, and yet somehow remained free of totalitarianism or foreign invasion.
The Second Amendment should be re-interpreted to protect self-defense and state-sponsored militias, not to allow weapons that are more lethal than they need to be. Such an approach seems consistent with the language and original understanding of the Bill of Rights, and doesn’t require repeal of one of its components.

Jack Fisher said...

AO, your opinion and preference and cringing fear of guns is worth absolutely shi'ite to anyone. THe USSC has spoken on what the 2d Amendment means and isn't up to debate, so deal with it, loser.

That said, your complete ignorance of 2d Amendment law and what and why controls are constitutional makes you incapable of discussing anything. Your intentional misrepresentation of the position of people you disagree with reeks of desperation and stupidity but is exactly what we've come to expect from gun grabbers like you.

You aren't smart enough to post on this topic and you've expended all the time you're worth.

TBlakely said...

Baby steps, baby steps to complete confiscation. One AR-15s are banned other guns will be used and once those are banned other models will be used and the cycle will repeat until every gun is banned. Of course that's the intent.... a complete ban, lefties have zero interest in getting to the root causes of mass shootings. As an infamous politician said:

"You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before."

Jack Fisher said...

Libtards couldn't grab guns after Sandy Hook (when they controlled the HR, Senate and the preznitcy), they're not going to grab guns after this incident.

Conservatives sometimes adopt this snowflake panic, all guns are about to be grabbed. AO's blubbering is explicable because he's just not very smart, but conservatives who argue 2d Amendment law ought to be more educated.

Anonymous said...

Like most gun control advocates, Ares knows little but pontificate much.

"Perhaps the self-arming of citizens could be similarly staggered. Let 18-year-olds own hunting rifles. Make revolvers available at 21."

"Hunting rifles" includes things like a 7MMS Rem Mag with a 10x scope on top, otherwise known to the gun control community as a "high-powered sniping rifle". When he figures this out, he'll be wanting those. A Mini14 is a "hunting rifle" which fires the exact same round, using compatible magazines,at the same rate of fire as the dreaded AR15, so the rules will have be changed there,too.

Of course, obviously unknown to our expert, the present day law proscribes purchase of handguns (both revolvers and semiautos) or handgun ammunition by anyone under the age of 21. We all know how well that law has worked, since thousands of gang homicides have been committed by minor since that law was enacted in 1968, the majority by minors armed with exactly what the law prohibits.

IOW, his "solution" is incoherent, and what of it that has been tried,has been unsuccessful.

Anonymous said...

But that is what makes Ares so interesting as a study of the left. Not knowing what he is talking about has never stopped him before. When one is Ares Olympus looking down on the deplorables, irredeemables, idiots, et al then being right does not matter.

Redacted said...

The key point to remember about about Ares is he can be safely ignored. His ineffectuality is both comprehensive and total.

Having said that, I personally find his garrulous, inchoate comments to be highly entertaining and worth screening for hidden Nuggets of Unintelligentsia. The ones with healthy dollop of moral preening and psychobabble are
especially likely to pay off.

Ken said...

Ares Olympus,

"whenever a boss asks an underling G-man "Stop with that Youtube school-shooting threat, probably just a stupid kid trying to sounds like a big shot, and get back to proving collusion between our president and the Russians", the G-man just has to say "Parkland" and his boss will STFU."

You know why this is utter bullshit? There were multiple OTHER warning signs. If this was the only dot, your sarcasm might be warranted, but there were dozens of dots no one connected because no one knew about them because people like you make excuses for the FBI not making the dots known.

"I saw Ross Douthat offered his middle ground, no AR-15s for 18-year olds, unless they're in the military of course"

Exactly. Our 18 year old men are good enough to send to war and die for us, but not good enough to have the right guaranteed to be protected by the 2A and their deaths in the military. Young men should know their place and know they don't have rights, when they turn 18, only obligations, amarite? Clown.

"And if someone has a weapon they're not supposed to have, the owner of the gun can also be charged."

Awesome. Also, we should charge the owner of cars, whose cars are stolen and used in a crime, amarite? Clown.

The actual solution is for all this is to allow adults to concealed carry in schools. It's just that simple. These shooters have been shown time and again to be cowards who stop and surrender or kill themselves at the first sign of real resistance.

In short, you're the problem. Your knee jerk reaction is to deny liberty, insist people rely more heavily on the very institutions that failed so dramatically, all while making excuses as to why those institutions failed to begin with.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Ares Olympus @February 19, 2018 at 12:22 AM:

As always, it’s the government people who deserve a break.

Got it.

You speculate tha your opponents intentions are bad, but the government’s actions are good.

Strange. You must believe in our “institutions.” I maintain a healthy skepticism.

Ares Olympus said...

Ken MacDonald said... Exactly. Our 18 year old men are good enough to send to war and die for us, but not good enough to have the right guaranteed to be protected by the 2A and their deaths in the military.

We're certainly agreed that we disagree. But it all comes down to interpretation - like what is a "militia" and what are "arms", and how is a high school dropout buying a semi-automatic helping to our nation be more secure?

At least President Trump has found some reason, and is actually encouraging bump stocks to be banned, one mass-shooting backwards, but in the right direction. I suppose Trump will backstep when the next person catches his ear, but we'll see.

Jack Fisher said...

AO, the USSC has defined what a militia is, and what arms are and what the two parts of the militia clause mean. The fact that you don't have a clue shows, once again, you are arguing from ignorance. Heller is almost ten years old, and you haven't bothered to read it, or even read a summary of it. Ten years old and you still have no idea that this interpretation is decided and over. HTF can you post on this board with so little preparation other than your increasingly laughable and worthless opinion?

Argument From Ignorance. Every post you make shows you understand nothing.