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Parkland mass shooting: time to think nationally, act locally

Written By | Feb 16, 2018

WASHINGTON, February 16, 2018: Accused mass shooter Nikolas Cruz was someone else’s problem until he wasn’t. Acquaintances, fellow students, school administrators, local Parkland, Florida, police and even the FBI were familiar with him.


Shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz.

A failure to serve and protect

In fact, the FBI told gun shop owners in the neighboring community of Coral Springs that Cruz had no criminal background and should be approved for the purchase of an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. The very same weapon he is alleged to have used in Wednesday’s attack.


According to Buzzfeed, neighbors reported Cruz to police for his strange and violent behavior no less than 36 times between 2010 and 2016.

Yet, with all these layers of “protection” breached, gun-control advocates demand Congress step in and add yet another layer of defense to “protect our children.”

Horror on my street: Parkland shooting demands mental health discussion

No one is explaining why it is Congress, an institution with approval ratings lower than our fake-news media, should have our trust to add another layer of protection to the one that failed the 17 souls that perished at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

In today’s America, the phrase “Protecting our children” clearly suggests that responsibility belongs to the other guy. But, as in Parkland, the other guy – school authorities, local police, and the Federal B.I. – failed miserably.

When bad things happen to good people

Bad things will happen to good people as long as bad or deranged people roam among us. And it is up to the communities where our children live to insist that those who run our local institutions, from city hall to the county board of supervisors, do their jobs or face an engaged public’s displeasure when these politicians (that includes the elected county sheriff) inevitably seek our votes.


Aaron Feis.

Douglas High School football coach and security guard, Aaron Feis, was among those gunned down by the mass shooter. He died shielding students with his body. It was the only means at his disposal to protect the school where he worked.

Clearly, trained security guards proficient in the use of firearms might have prevented or at least minimized the carnage.

That is not for Congress but Parkland’s parents, their city council, Broward County government, and, ultimately, Florida’s state lawmakers to decide.

It’s not Washington’s problem

Washington is too far away and disengaged from reality to care what happens in Parkland.

Waiting for the other guy to keep you and your family safe has proven time and again to be a losing proposition.

To say you are too busy to become an engaged local citizen is no longer an excuse. You need to step it up.

Think nationally, but act locally. If not for yourself, then do it “for the children.”

YOUR Children.


Steven M. Lopez

Originally from Los Angeles, Steven M. Lopez has been in the news business for more than thirty years. He made his way around the country: Arizona, the Bay Area and now resides in South Florida.