The shooting that occurred this past Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is not a story that has left my mind. This particular event has been something I have continued to follow even after mainstream media has decided it is no longer worth airtime. It has affected me for a couple of reasons. First off, I know someone personally who was affected by the shooting and I even interviewed him after the fact for this site. Parkland, Florida is also near my hometown which is located on the outskirts of Tampa. With this particular massacre I remember very vividly how real and close to home it felt.
For these reasons, I intend to provide several updates on the situation for those interested. I will cover both the good and the bad that have come out of this tragic event. Many of you may be unaware of some of these proceedings. Links and videos for further information will, as always, be provided.
Several things have come out about the shooter’s plans for the event. He allegedly used Kik Messenger to text himself about the massacre but his brother did not report it since he doubted the shooter was serious. Along with that, a video taken on the shooter’s phone surfaced. In the video, the shooter proclaims that he will be “the next school shooter of 2018” and that “when you see [him] on the news, you’ll know [his] name.” He also lets it be know that he plans to kill 20 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas.
After these disturbing comments, the shooter lets out an odd laugh and announces “you’re all going to die.” He makes childish ‘pew pew’ noises to simulate that of a gun. He then becomes rather nihilistic when he says, “I am nothing. I am no one, My life is nothing and meaningless.” This brand of nihilistic thought reminds me of the mindsets of the Columbines shooters, whom I reference in my essay on the relationship between certainty and doubt.
Counselors who tried to help the shooter have also said that the 19 year old has the mental development of a 3 year old. The counselors told the shooter’s mother that he should not have a gun but the mother allowed him to own one anyway. This is the stage where I can be pro-2nd Amendment all day but I would still say it was her responsibility as a parent to not allow the shooter to own a gun while he still lived under her roof. That was full within her control. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri called his mother “an enabler” and claims that “his mother contributed to [his behavior] significantly.” She was contacted by mental health and school counselors 140 times yet never interfered in her troubled son’s affairs.
The story of the tragedy of Marjory Stoneman Douglas is one of inaction. This story of inaction is further illustrated in the reasons that 15 MSD survivors are filing a lawsuit against county and school officials.
Here's a thread of everyone they're suing and why. pic.twitter.com/K3uLaqIE0n
— Kenneth Preston (@kennethrpreston) July 11, 2018
The first individual mentioned by the lawsuit and Twitter thread is the infamous Broward County Sheriff, Scott Israel. After the shooting, Sheriff Israel inspired a hashtag asking for him to resign. The calls for him to resign spun out of his inaction to prevent the shooting. The Broward County Sheriff’s Office had received countless tips about the shooter’s behavior.
Sheriff Israel’s inaction is further demonstrated by the people he put in charge of protecting the school: Security Guard Andrew Medina and Resource Officer Scot Peterson. The latter has been characterized by his inaction and his cowardice. The internet has dubbed Peterson as the ‘Coward of Broward County’ while he has been known in Florida law enforcement circles as ‘Rod.’ ROD stands for ‘retired on duty.’ This nickname comes from his lackluster approach to his duty. He is often ready to look tough to students but actively avoids any potential dangerous situations.
Once incident mentioned in the lawsuit, alleges that Peterson pulled T.M. (an unnamed student involved in the lawsuit) out of class and searched his backpack. Peterson unlawfully seized $200 from T.M.’s backpack intended for a date that evening with T.M.’s girlfriend and insisted it was drug money. Peterson continued interrogating T.M., in an attempt to force T.M. to admit to a crime he did not commit. This incident happened the morning of the shooting and T.M. was not the only student called out of class. T.M. was not allowed to call his attorney and his mom was later called.
The school security guard, Andrew Medina, watched the shooter enter the school and he knew that the shooter was a threat. He did not stop the shooter and question him; he instead radioed a hall monitor named David Taylor and warned him that a suspicious kid was heading his way. Medina could have used his radio to issue a code to lock down the school, but he also failed to do that. A school lock down would have made it much more difficult for the shooter to kill as many people as he did.
The full PDF of the lawsuit can be read below:
[pdf-embedder url=”https://palmettonews-opinion.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/0711_n13_MSD_federal_civil_rights_lawsuit-1.pdf” title=”0711_n13_MSD_federal_civil_rights_lawsuit”]
Now onto some good news that has come out of this tragic event. Kyle Kashuv, an MSD student, has been given many opportunities to talk to various politicians and media pundits. He has talked to First Lady Melania Trump and Charlie Kirk of Turning Point USA and Ben Shapiro of the Daily Wire. He was given a position at Turning Point USA and will be offering full scholarships to a TPUSA Student Summit coming up. He has shown that people his age can be conservative.