Monday, March 19, 2018

Preventing School Shootings

Some of us care about stopping school shootings. Some of us would rather score cheap political points by mobilizing gullible students and turning them into a self-righteous mob.

In the matter of Nikolas Cruz, and several of the other mass murderers, I have long recommended that such individuals, once determined to be dangerous, be committed to a psychiatric facility, involuntarily. One understands that the ACLU finds this offensive and is working long and hard to allow dangerous psychotics to walk the streets. One understands that the Obama administration believed that if minority youth were causing more trouble at schools this could only mean that the administrators were racist… thus, it promoted a policy whereby schools would refrain from suspending violent and dangerous students like Nikolas Cruz. One understands that the Parkland Sheriff’s department was on board with policy. One understands that those who think that men are the problem want to rid the world of guns because guns are a guy thing. I will leave it to you to figure out why.

A confluence of failures, mostly by government bureaucrats, from the FBI to the sheriff’s office to the local school authorities, opened the door to Nikolas Cruz and allowed him to do what he had been telling people he would do.

Now, we discover, some officials did call for Cruz’s involuntary commitment. Only, it never happened. One assumed that higher authorities had looked at the paperwork and did nothing. One would like to know who was responsible for this failure.

Today, the New York Times, among many news sources is reporting:

On the day an 11th grader named Nikolas Cruz told another student that he had a gun at home and was thinking of using it, two guidance counselors and a sheriff’s deputy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., concluded that he should be forcibly committed for psychiatric evaluation, according to mental health records obtained on Sunday by The New York Times.

An involuntary commitment of that kind, under the authority of a Florida state law known as the Baker Act, could have kept Mr. Cruz from passing a background check required to buy a firearm.

But Mr. Cruz appears never to have been institutionalized despite making threats to himself and others, cutting his arms with a pencil sharpener and claiming he had drunk gasoline in a possible attempt to kill himself, all in a five-day period in September 2016.

If Cruz had been committed, he would have lost his right to purchase a firearm.

For the record, the sheriff’s deputy who wanted to have Cruz committed involuntarily was none other than Scot Peterson… the man who was stationed at the high school during the shooting and who kept a safe and cowardly distance from the action.


Jack Fisher said...

Being picked up for a Baker Act evaluation is not an involuntary commitment that bars a gun purchase, nor should it be, no more than a criminal complaint or an indictment means guilty. The result of the evaluation might or might not be sufficient.

Anonymous said...

Brought to you by the PROMISE program. An Obama-Holder invention.

Ares Olympus said...

Stuart: If Cruz had been committed, he would have lost his right to purchase a firearm.

This would seem to be the most powerful arguments, or adjusted for Jack Fisher's qualifier that the result of the evaluation determines this right.

It still would seems superior to say the second amendment says nothing about AR15s, and they serve no valid purpose in the hands of civilians of any age, much less an 18 year or a old wannabe school shooter.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Of course, it's true that Cruz could not have been committed without an evaluation. But since everyone who knew him and everyone who would have been called to testify-- assuming that they have a say-- understood perfectly well that he was homicidally dangerous, we may be forgiven for assuming that even our psycho professionals would have erred on the side of caution.