Monday, February 19, 2018
A Sloppy FBI and Community Care System Led to the Deaths of 17 Teenagers and Teachers by a Violent Autistic Teenager
IT'S PRESIDENTS' DAY IN THE UNITED STATES, but the talk is all about guns. It is truly remarkable that in light of the terrible shooting in Florida, nobody who represents the ProgDems or the mainstream media is talking about how the shooter was not being treated for his obvious mental health problems. They ignore the fact that he was visited by police for disturbances 39 times in 7 years. They don't talk about the potentially mood-altering drugs he was taking. NO. It is guns that were at fault. After the tragic and apparently avoidable incident, all the Progressives are calling for gun control, when common sense tells us that with twenty thousand plus gun control laws on the books, one more gun control law, will not make any terrorist, criminal, or mentally deranged individual alter their behavoir one bit. It’s the same refrain, over and over again. Republicans are evil -- enact universal background checks (which we already have) -- the NRA is a terrorist organization. That is all the ProgDem vultures who are after the Second Amendment can say. Their goal is transparent -- it is part of their plan to disarm Americans so that that we can be herded helplessly into the socialist paradise the ProgDems want. • • • THE FACTS. New York Post reported last weekend that sheriff deputies called to suspected shooter Nikolas Cruz’s home 39 times over seven years. The Post quoted police records obtained by CNN but not immediately available, so it was impossible for the Post to determine if all involved Cruz. But; local Miami KTLA reported that : "the nature of the emergencies at his Parkland home included “mentally ill person,” “child/elderly abuse,” “domestic disturbance” and “missing person.” A schoolmate, Brody Speno, told CNN that cops were called to Cruz’s home “almost every other week. Something wasn’t right about him. He was off.” Speno said he knew Cruz from elementary school and described him as “an evil kid” who was “always getting in trouble.” Cruz -- who posted images of himself on Instagram posing with guns and knives, according to the New York Post and who has confessed to killing 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland and made an alarming online comment about a recent mass shooting : “Man I can do so much better,” he wrote. • The Miami Herald interviewed James and Kimberly Snead, who took in Nikolas Cruz late last year. The Sneads told the Herald : "he was a socially awkward teenager lost in the world, depressed by the death of his beloved mother. But to the Sneads, Cruz appeared to be progressing.The young man who had been friendly with their son regularly attended adult-education classes, bicycled to his job as a cashier and watched TV shows with the family. Cruz hoped to become an infantry soldier. With the Sneads’ help, the emotionally troubled 19-year-old planned to resume mental-health therapy begun years earlier." James Snead told the Herald : "Things were looking up. Just two weeks ago, he said it was the happiest he’d ever been.” • The Miami Herald documented the troubling details of Cruz’s past -- the visits by police to his old home, the menacing social media posts, the tip to the FBI about his threats that went uninvestigated -- but the Sneads told the Herald : “Everything that everybody now knows about him, we didn’t know.” Snead, 48, is a construction consultant and former US Army soldier. The Snead attorney, Jim Lewis asked : "“What else could this family have done to help put this young man on the right track?. Please don’t blame them for doing the right thing. They’re victims, too.” Cruz was friends with their teenage son. The two knew each other from the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at Douglas High, and had even gone hunting with James Snead last year. • Cruz and his younger brother were adopted as children by Lynda and Roger Cruz. He died over a decade ago. Lynda Cruz struggled with her older son, who was diagnosed with autism and attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder. He became known for his erratic behavior around their Parkland neighborhood and his regular outbursts at Douglas High. In September 2016, Florida’s child welfare agency investigated Cruz’s well-being after the abuse hotline received a complaint that he was cutting himself and planned to buy a gun. The case was closed after investigators determined that he was receiving proper care. But the following year, on November 1, Lynda Cruz died. The Sneads’ son soon asked his parents whether Cruz could move in with the family at their Pompano Beach home. The couple, who raised three boys, felt the need to help, especially because of the death of Cruz’s mother. James Snead said : “It really affected him. His mother was everything for him and took care of him. That was his rock. He was very depressed...the woman 'kept him sheltered.' He was a lost child. He needed guidance.” • At the Snead family home, the Sneads gave him his own room and insisted he work and go to school. He got the cashiering job at a nearby Dollar Tree. Around the house, Cruz appeared mostly docile. Snead usually took him to school. He regularly watched shows and ate dinner with the family. He usually went to sleep early. Cruz had five or six guns, including the legally purchased AR-15 that was later used in the massacre. But Snead -- a longtime gun owner -- insisted the weapons be locked in a cabinet. Snead said that Cruz asked to get them only twice. Once, he said no. Another time, about four weeks ago, he allowed Cruz to clean one of the firearms for about 15 minutes. “I thought I had the only key,” Snead said. • • • THE LOCAL MIAMI HERALD NEWSPAPER TOLD CRUZ'S STORY. The Herald reported : "The morning of the shooting, Snead’s son told his father that Cruz wasn’t going to school. “It’s Valentine’s Day. I don’t go to school on Valentine’s Day,” Cruz said. Snead didn’t think much of it. It was not until later that afternoon that his son called him to tell them he was OK -- and that there had been a shooting and he had escaped the campus. As Snead drove to the Walmart next to the school to pick up his son, a Broward Sheriff’s deputy called asking about Cruz, whom he mistakenly believed was his son. He had no idea where Cruz was. It was soon after that the dreadful realization dawned on him. Cruz was responsible. He immediately called the deputy back, asking that officers rush to the house because he thought the shooter might be home with Kimberly Snead. The couple was taken to BSO headquarters for questioning, While in the lobby, they briefly saw Cruz being led into the station. 'He looked lost,' Snead said." • The Mami Herald also reported on Saturday that : "Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is the jewel of Parkland, graduating top-notch students and athletes who grow up in a dignified affluence far removed from the gritty urban sprawl of Miami. Many live in vast gated communities enveloped by horse pastures and pristine nature trails. Rated among the best high schools in Florida, Stoneman Douglas has won five national math championships, has the state’s top marching band and boasts science and engineering programs where students fly weather balloons and drones. But Nikolas Cruz never felt a part of this warm nest of promise and achievement. The warning signs of a simmering danger brought on by his mental illness were documented by his school, his fellow students, his family, the police, child welfare agencies, the FBI and even by his own hand, on social media. Cruz’s Valentine’s Day rampage at Stoneman Douglas that ended 17 lives came after months and years of violent, erratic outbursts that often frightened fellow students and others who came in contact with him, records show. To Cruz, the campus’ sun-splashed courtyards were a dark place where he was mocked and ridiculed for his odd behavior, according to interviews with close family friends, students and recently released police and mental health reports. 'Someone could have approached a faculty member, a guidance counselor, a teacher and said, ‘This kid gets bullied a lot, someone should do something,’ said student Manolo Alvarez, 17, who had history class with Cruz. 'I regret definitely not saying anything.' " • The Herald said the "reams of reports, replete with one red flag after another, detailing Cruz’s violent descent, events that were mostly dismissed, downplayed or filed away by many of those in society entrusted with recognizing the potential danger that he posed to his family and to his community. Cruz -- at 5-foot-7 and 120 pounds -- was scrawny, and rarely, if ever, felt comfortable with other kids, either in his Parkland neighborhood or at Stoneman Douglas, according to Paul Gold, who lived next door to the Cruz family and remained in touch with Nikolas up until his mother’s funeral in November. Cruz had been diagnosed with the neurological disorder autism. Michael Alessandri, a clinical professor of psychology at the University of Miami, cautioned that Cruz’s diagnosis of autism should not be viewed as a cause of his attack at Stoneman Douglas High. 'It is a social communication disorder, not a violent disorder,' Alessandri said. 'He was ostracized his whole life,' said Gold, who said he was one of only four people, including Nikolas, and his younger brother, Zachary, who attended the funeral of his mother, Lynda Cruz, in November. Cruz was treated for depression and attention deficit disorder, and his mother found it increasingly difficult to control his behavior from the time he was an adolescent, despite periodic interventions by mental health counselors and law enforcement authorities, records show. 'His mother made a major push to have him lead a normal life,' Gold said. 'But toward the end of her life, she really had given up.’ BSO deputies were summoned to their Parkland home more than 30 times in the past seven years, records show. The complaints ranged from petty domestic disputes to a time Cruz threw a vacuum cleaner at his mom. Gold said Lynda Cruz was strict with her sons, and was not averse to striking them when they misbehaved. At least one time, DCF investigated her for possibly abusing the boys and inadequately supervising them. The case was closed. Nikolas Cruz was getting treatment at Henderson Mental Health, the DCF report said. Still, they concluded he was not enough of a threat to be hospitalized or committed to a facility." • The Herald said : "Cruz was about 11 when Gold and his girlfriend, Rocxanne Deschamps, moved next door to them in Parkland. Cruz’s father, Roger -- everyone called him “Ray” -- was a self-employed advertising salesman who died of a heart attack in 2004 when Nikolas was 5, county records show. Roger Cruz bought the five-bedroom, three-bath home in Pine Tree estates for $94,000 in 1996. By the time he died, he left a $1 million estate, including the house, which by then was worth more than $570,000, county records show. He and his wife met when they were married to other people, then married later in life after divorces. Gold said he wasn’t sure when the boys were adopted, but they didn’t learn they were adopted until they were in their teens. 'The family had money. Lynda even had his life insurance money -- but she was very, very frugal,' Gold said. Lynda Cruz stayed home with the boys, and sometimes watched Gold’s daughter, who was friends with the boys. Gold said he recognized right away that Nikolas Cruz needed psychological help. 'He would bang his head with his hands, and often lose control over minor things, like loud sounds,' Gold recalled. He once smashed some golf clubs into one of Gold’s vehicles. He struggled to make friends. Gold recalled seeing Cruz as a kid attempt to join other kids riding their bicycles in the neighborhood, but the kids brushed him off and called him names. He would come home from school angry or depressed. 'He would come over after school and was visibly upset about being teased, but he pretended that he really didn’t care,' Gold said. 'Despite his mother’s attention, he just felt horribly unloved, and felt he had no one to turn to,’ Gold said. Gold and Deschamps tried to help their mother, who was in her 60s and in poor health. Cruz’s school life was particularly difficult to watch, Gold said. Alvarez, 17, said he remembers Cruz being teased in 10th grade." • By then, the Miami Herald reported : "Cruz was getting attention from students for his bizarre social media postings. In some of them, he posted pictures of himself with knives and guns. In others, he showed animals, such as frogs, that he claimed to have butchered. Other kids at the school would mock Cruz for being a loner. The district did not release his disciplinary records or whether the district investigated the bullying. But Superintendent Robert Runcie said he was not aware of any reports about Cruz being harassed. In August 2016, DCF records show, Cruz had just broken up with his girlfriend, and got into a fight with another boy. Several students told Buzzfeed News that they reported him to school security and other administrators after he threatened them during a profane exchange over the ex-girlfriend. Around that time, Cruz drew a Nazi symbol on his book bag and was using hate language. Records show that Broward mental health authorities were worried that his chronic depression was worsening. Runcie said contrary to media reports, Cruz wasn’t expelled, but rather he was transferred to a school for students with behavioral issues. 'Clearly the student had mental and behavioral issues and we have services we provide in schools when they don’t fit into a normal school environment,' he said. Gold said that Cruz escaped his misery by playing video games for eight, 12, even 15 hours a day. Gold, who owns a film and video production company, sometimes would play a game or two with them. 'It was kill, kill, kill, blow up something, and kill some more, all day,' he said." • The Herald gave an account of Cruz' increasing violence : "Last November, someone with his name posted a threat on YouTube that was reported to the FBI. In it, he claimed he wanted to be a school shooter. The FBI admitted on Friday it had failed to follow up on that tip, and another in January that went into even greater detail about his threats and the possibility that he had acquired a number of weapons. IN SPITE OF the police reports and his mental health history, Cruz was able to pass a background check and buy the rifle in February 2017. In Florida, absent a felony or domestic abuse conviction, almost any adult can walk into a gun store and walk out the same day with an AR-15 rifle and a cache of ammunition after clearing a simple background check. Cruz also managed to legally purchase at least five other guns in the past year, said a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation. They were recovered from the home where he was living with a friend’s family after the shootings. After Gold and Deschamps split up and went their separate ways a few years ago, Cruz stayed in touch with Gold. His mother remained best friends with Deschamps, who took Nikolas Cruz and his brother into her home after their mother died. But Nikolas Cruz left that locale a few weeks later, after a dispute over him having a gun. Gold said Cruz moved with his gun to live with the family of a friend near Pompano Beach [the Sneads]. They required him to keep the gun in a locked cabinet, said their lawyer, Jim Lewis. 'When we first had the opportunity to see those records, we were pretty stunned to learn of all the alarms that were being rung with this child,’ said Chief Assistant Public Defender Gordon Weekes. 'The system totally failed him, and it failed the community, as well.' " • Gold told the Herald that "he believes a host of factors contributed to Cruz’s instability : his mental illness, the bullying, an obsession with violent video games, his mother dying, no safety net. 'None of this is an excuse for the horrible, horrible thing that he did,” Gold said. 'None of it -- but if you wanted to create a kid who was a serial killer, this is how you would do it.’ Lynda Cruz came down with the flu last year and refused to get medical treatment, Gold said. 'She was so frugal, she didn’t want to spend the money, she wanted to save everything for the boys,’ Gold said. By then she had sold the house and moved into an apartment. When she died, Nikolas Cruz called Gold and asked him if he would drive him to the funeral. The only attendees, Gold said, were Cruz, his brother, Gold and Deschamps. 'He was very strange at the funeral,’ Gold said. 'He was emotionless. He was polite and grateful but he didn’t shed a tear. His mother was the most important person in his life, but that boy did not feel the way that normal people feel.’ " • • • A SAD TALE OF A VERY TROUBLEDCHILD ALMOST NOBODY TRIED TO HELP. TheHill reported on Monday that the Sneads who took Nikolas Cruz into their home before he allegedly shot and killed 17 people at a high school last Wednesday, said they did not observe any warning signs or red flags prior to the shooting : "Everything everyone seems to know we didn't know. We had rules and he followed every rule to the tee." The FBI was warned last year about a threat from a YouTube user with the same name as Cruz but ignored the warning, as well as a later one in January. Florida officials found Cruz to be a low-level risk after a 2016 probe into his home life but found he had behavior difficulties and had planned to purchase a firearm. • But, the calls for gun control are shouted out by those who ignore or are ignorant of the troubled life of Nickolas Cruz. And, worse, these gun control vultures are preying on the children at Marjory Stoneman Douglas School to get them to do their grunt work of calling for an end to the Second Amendment right to bear arms -- making a mockery of the commnity's agony and encouraging immature adolescents in a state of grief to do their dirty work. • A White House spokesperson said Monday that President Trump would back improving the federal background check system : “The President spoke to Senator [John] Cornyn (R-Texas) on Friday about the bi-partisan bill he and Sen. [Chris] Murphy (D-Conn.) introduced to improve Federal Compliance with Criminal Background check Legislation. While discussions are ongoing and revisions are being considered, the President is supportive of efforts to improve the Federal background check system.” • Reuters -- an opponent of conservative thought -- reported : “So many folks in the FBI are doing all that they can to keep us safe. The reality of it is, is that they are two separate issues,” Republican Senator Tim Scott said on CBS’ Face the Nation program....Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates tweeted : 'Our President uses the tragedy to attack the investigation of a foreign adversary’s interference in our democracy. Shameful.' ” Rueters and Yates got it half right...it is two separate issues -- and one of them is not about any "shameful" act on President Trump's part -- it is about "shameful" acts by Yates' ProgDem vultures. • • • SOME ACTUALLY WANT TO ATTACK THE PROBLEM BUT ARE THWARTED. • PHARMACEUTICAL COVER-UP. As WND.com’s David Kupelian put it Thursday, the following is par for the course : "As information about a 'perpetrator' emerges, a relative confides to a newspaper that the ‘troubled youth’ who committed the mass murder was on psychiatric medications -- you know, those powerful, little understood, mind-altering drugs with fearsome side effects including ‘suicidal ideation’ and even ‘homicidal ideation.’" Yet, Kupelian laments, the media have little appetite for exploring this issue. Politicians don’t, either. Unlike with guns, legal drugs aren’t a sexy issue that can be used to scare people and win votes. Moreover, as The Guardian reported last year : “Pharmaceutical companies spend far more than any other industry to influence politicians...close to $2.5 billion into lobbying and funding members of Congress over the past decade. This dwarfs the 'gun lobby’s' political contributions." But what about pharmaceuticals’ contributions to mass shootings? Of course, correlation doesn’t mean causation, but it can provide clues as to where causation may lie -- and the correlation between mass shooters and psychiatric drug use certainly exists. Kupelian points out Newtown, Connecticut, killer Adam Lanza, who killed 26 at Sandy Hook Elementary School while on medication, according to family friend Louise Tambascio. That’s all we heard about it, however; as Kupelian notes, there “was little journalistic curiosity or follow-up.” Columbine mass-killer Eric Harris was taking Luvox -- like Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor and many others, a modern and widely prescribed type of antidepressant drug called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. Along with fellow student Dylan Klebold, Harris killed 13 and wounded 24 in a headline-grabbing 1999 rampage. Kupalian says : “Luvox manufacturer Solvay Pharmaceuticals concedes that during short-term controlled clinical trials, 4% of children and youth taking Luvox -- that’s one in 25 -- developed mania, a dangerous and violence-prone mental derangement characterized by extreme excitement and delusion.” Patrick Purdy, 25, murdered five children and wounded 30 in a schoolyard shooting rampage in Stockton, California, in 1989, while he'd been taking Amitriptyline, an antidepressant, as well as the antipsychotic drug Thorazine. Kip Kinkel, 15, murdered his parents in 1998 and the next day went to his school, Thurston High in Springfield, Oregon, and opened fire on his classmates, killing two and wounding 22 others. He had been prescribed both Prozac and Ritalin. WND’s Leo Hohmann adds to the picture, having reported in 2015 -- “Aaron Ray Ybarra, 26, of Mountlake Terrace, Washington, allegedly opened fire with a shotgun at Seattle Pacific University in June 2014, killing one student and wounding two others.” Ybarra “said he’d been prescribed with Prozac and Risperdal to help him with his problems.” Jose Reyes, the Nevada seventh-grader who went on a shooting rampage at his school in October 2013 was taking a prescription antidepressant [Prozac] at the time. Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis sprayed bullets at office workers and in a cafeteria on September 16, 2013, killing 13 people including himself. Alexis had been prescribed [generic antidepressant] Trazodone by his Veterans Affairs doctor. In 1988, 31-year-old Laurie Dann went on a shooting rampage in a second-grade classroom in Winnetka, Illinois, killing one child and wounding six. She had been taking the antidepressant Anafranil as well as Lithium, long used to treat mania.” In Paducah, Kentucky, in late 1997, 14-year-old Michael Carneal, son of a prominent attorney, traveled to Heath High School and started shooting students in a prayer meeting taking place in the school’s lobby, killing three and leaving another paralyzed. Carneal reportedly was on Ritalin. In 2005, 16-year-old Jeff Weise, living on Minnesota’s Red Lake Indian Reservation, shot and killed nine people and wounded five others before killing himself. Weise had been taking Prozac. 47-year-old Joseph T. Wesbecker, just a month after he began taking Prozac in 1989, shot 20 workers at Standard Gravure Corp. in Louisville, Kentucky, killing nine. Prozac-maker Eli Lilly later settled a lawsuit brought by survivors. IJR says : "Of course, also relating to correlation, there’s a chicken-or-egg question here: Is it that taking psychiatric drugs makes a person more likely to go crazy and commit murderous rampages, or is it that crazy people who are candidates for committing murderous rampages are more likely to be prescribed psychiatric drugs? In reality, most likely it’s both. The truth is that because the human mind is complex and not wholly understood, taking mind-altering drugs is a risky proposition. Drug companies acknowledge this, too, mind you -- just not very publicly. As Kupelian writes after relating the case of Andrea Yates, who drowned her five children in 2001 while on the antidepressant Effexor : "In November 2005, more than four years after Yates drowned her children, Effexor manufacturer Wyeth Pharmaceuticals quietly added 'homicidal ideation' to the drug’s list of 'rare adverse events.' The Medical Accountability Network, a private nonprofit focused on medical ethics issues, publicly criticized Wyeth, saying Effexor’s 'homicidal ideation' risk wasn’t well publicized and that Wyeth failed to send letters to doctors or issue warning labels announcing the change. And what exactly does 'rare' mean in the phrase 'rare adverse events'? The FDA defines it as occurring in less than one in 1,000 people. But since that same year, 19.2 million prescriptions for Effexor were filled in the US, statistically that means thousands of Americans might experience 'homicidal ideation' -- murderous thoughts -- as a result of taking just this one brand of antidepressant drug. Effexor is Wyeth’s best-selling drug, by the way, which in one recent year brought in over $3 billion in sales, accounting for almost a fifth of the company’s annual revenues." After mentioning the case of 12-year-old Paxil user Christopher Pittman’s murder of his grandparents, Kupelian informs us that : “Paxil’s known ‘adverse drug reactions’ -- according to the drug’s FDA-approved label -- include ‘mania,’ ‘insomnia,’ ‘anxiety,’ ‘agitation,’ ‘confusion,’ ‘amnesia,’ ‘depression,’ ‘paranoid reaction,’ ‘psychosis,’ ‘hostility,’ ‘delirium,’ ‘hallucinations,’ ‘abnormal thinking,’ ‘depersonalization’ and ‘lack of emotion,’ among others.” In fact, as Ch 2 WCGH reported in 2009 : “One study shows a quarter of all children on drugs such as Paxil and Zoloft become dangerously violent and/or suicidal.” Of course, says IJR : "if these drugs pose such a threat, there should be a stream of high-profile lawsuits, right? Wrong. To avoid the bad exposure this would bring, drug companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars settling claims out of court and often cloak them with confidentiality agreements." Both President Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan point to mental health reforms as a solution following the Florida shooting. President Trump said : “We are committed to working with state and local leaders to help secure our schools, and tackle the difficult issue of mental health." BUT, Democrats accuse the GOP of misdirecting the national conversation, arguing that while mental health might be part of the solution, the focus must be on gun control. Sanatro Xhris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, said : “We should fix our mental health system, but we can’t let the gun lobby get away with suggesting that mental health is the problem." • ONE SHERIFF TRIES TO HELP. Having said this, it’s unlikely that psychiatric drugs are entirely to blame for mass shootings, for much has changed during the last many decades. The Independent Journal Review published the only report I've found about what Parkland, Florida's Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. He called for arming teachers. Judd told Fox News that gun control on every campus in Florida dictates that no one can bring a gun onto campus. He added that the only person who violates this rule is the “crazed person -- the active shooter.” Instead of trying to restrict guns further, the sheriff advocated for putting more on campus -- as long as they're in the right hands. In 2016, Judd created the Sentinel Program at Southeastern University in Lakeland, which carefully selects faculty members to carry firearms on the chance a shooter carries out an assault on campus. Judd said : “We go through the staff and we look to see who has the clean background. In addition to that, we do psychological evaluations. Then we do great amounts of training, even more than the Florida police standards require.” Judd said he's proposed the program to Florida GOP Governor Rick Scott and state legislators to implement it across the state. While there are no "absolutes” in life, he said if his program was in place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, “everything could have been different.” The sheriff pointed to faculty members who died trying to shield kids and said if they had a firearm, it could have been a “game-changer.” He explained the average shooting only lasts two to five minutes and that the average police response time is five minutes. So by the time 911 is called, it's “too late. There is not one parent that wouldn't have taken a gun and run onto that campus that day in order to save those children,” Judd said. He added that he's just trying to screen teachers and staff, find people who possibly have past military or law enforcement experience, and give them the tools to protect students. • • • DEAR READERS, here is an excerpt fo an article that Chuck Norris posted on WND on Monday. Norris said : "We pray for everyone who was and is affected by this horrific, barbaric criminal act, particularly the families and friends of the slain. Words can’t express the grief, horror and outrage we also feel and are now going to harness for good in this column and in fighting for a better future. The fallen will not have fallen in vain! What will stop this string of heinous mass murders on our school campuses? At this point, we shouldn’t fear looking at anything and everything that can protect and save our children, including our greatest biases on the issue. Let’s start by taking the most obvious step as our first step. It’s one everyone (Republican, Democrat, independent, old and young) should be able to support....We as a country need to do what Israel did: The Holy Land mandated armed guards at the entrances to all schools in 1995, and those guards are backed by local law enforcement and special police forces. While these school defenses are primarily intended to thwart terrorists, they also deter any would-be criminals who would cause harm to children. Israeli schools have only suffered from two shootings in the past 40 years : one in 1974 (22 children and three adults) and another in 2008 (eight youth). True, Israel has fewer guns per capita than the US, but it’s also a tiny country with virtually no opportunity for hunting or other recreational use of firearms. Anti-gun advocates love to point out that there are only about 500,000 weapons that are privately owned in Israel, but that’s in a country (area) that is only about one-fifteenth the size of California or one-twenty-fifth the size of Texas....Twenty-eight years ago, in 1990, then-Senator Joe Biden introduced the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 into the Senate, and it prohibited 'any unauthorized individual from knowingly possessing a loaded or unsecured firearm at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.' It was passed by Congress and signed by President G. H.W. Bush. Ninety-eight percent of US public mass shootings occur in gun-free zones -- the Florida school being one of them, according to the Crime Prevention Resource Center....As even NBC News had to report : “The Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 prohibits anyone from having a firearm in a school zone. But that law includes the same exception recognized [in 17 US states] : It doesn’t apply if the weapons are ‘approved by a school in the school zone'....17 states allow adults or teachers to carry a loaded gun on school grounds, generally provided that they have written permission from a principal or the school board. Those 17 states include Alabama, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. California was included on the above list until Jan. 1, 2018, when liberal Gov. Jerry Brown enacted AB424, which removed the superintendents’ rights to approve someone carrying a concealed gun on campus...California schools have just made it easier for gun-wielding sociopaths to commit mass murder at schools. Unfortunately, as I mentioned above, Florida is also not on the list. But imagine if the Sunshine State were. Imagine if one of the coaches, who also served as security personnel at the school, could have shielded and defended the students with bullets rather than their bodies. Imagine how many murdered kids might still be alive. Imagine how the coaches’ own lives could have gone on and continued to encourage young people. I’m not advocating here that every teacher or coach carry or obtain a concealed permit, though 81% of US law enforcement officials think teachers and principals should be. I’m simply advocating here that we start the journey out of this national black hole of campus bullets by immediately working in every community and state to post active guards at the front of every school every weekday. Can any teacher, principal or parent give me good reason why they wouldn’t work to secure armed entrance security at their local schools as soon as possible, especially in light of at least five school shootings that have occurred across America since the turn of the year (not 18 as falsely reported this week by mainstream media)? Who among our fine law enforcement or military personnel (in any branch) wouldn’t consider it their greatest duty and honor to take a paid or volunteer shift as a guard in front of our schools protecting those precious souls? I find it absolute lunacy and abhorring that we protect with a gun every important institution and person of notoriety across the country, but we leave US children -- our national treasures -- to be prey of the predators of gun-free zones where children all gather in mass for nearly eight hours a day. Consider this photo post a friend sent me the other day comparing the places and people we post guards : 'We protect Presidents, Congress, Governors, Celebrities, Athletes, Banks, and Courts with guns. We protect our children with signs outside schools that say 'This is a gun-free zone.' We even have armed guards now in front of many grocery stores and restaurants, but we can’t or won’t post them at our schools?! Can any rational, law-abiding American give me a single good reason why we wouldn’t have armed security at the primary entrances of every school across our union? Does anyone really not believe an armed guard would help deter criminals or crazies from entering?" • There are solutions to the shootings that occur in American schools -- better mental health care, serious follow-up on citizen tips about unstable people in a community, tight control of mood-changing drugs, especially when children are taking them, and Israel-style armed guards at every school. These would reduce school shootings. But, the Progressive Democrats are not interested in reducing shootings. They want only and foremost to eliminate the US Constitution's Second Amendment right to bear arms. They are true vultures preying on the dead in American schools for the purpose of disarming American citizens. It will not happen. And the deaths will go on -- not because of the Second Amendment or Republicans, but because of Progressive Democrats who refuse deal with the real issues and make real progress in stopping these tragically unnecessary school shootings.