Ever since we first heard about the tragic mass shooting at a South Florida school, seemingly each new day has brought sickening new revelations of all the many ways in which it could have been prevented, but authorities failed to act. There were explicit warnings to the FBI, multiple calls to the sheriff’s department, multiple deputy visits to the shooter’s home, multiple state family agency visits, creepy and threatening social media posts – and all went unheeded. Then came what I assumed had the be absolute lowest mark of failure: the news that a deputy was on the scene, armed and in uniform, and just waited outside the school for five minutes, listening to the gunfire inside as the shooter mowed down unarmed teachers and children.
But just when I thought it couldn’t possibly get any lower than that, the pit of shame got dug deeper with news that there were three other Broward County sheriff’s deputies on the scene – waiting outside with guns drawn, taking shelter behind their cars. When local police showed up and finally dealt with the killer, they were reportedly “stunned and upset” to discover four armed deputies all waiting outside as the slaughter raged on inside. I would substitute more appropriate words than “stunned and upset,” but I try not to use words like that.
From the moment this horrific tragedy occurred, the left has sought to politicize the deaths of those kids and teachers, blaming them on the NRA or legal gun owners, and pushing for more restrictive gun laws that would have had zero effect at stopping this. Some are even urging violence and death against those who disagree with them (if you think this is just hyperbole, remember the violent Antifa thugs and the Bernie Sanders supporter who shot Rep. Steve Scalise and had hoped to kill every Republican on the scene.)
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel had the outrageous gall to appear on national TV on CNN’s propaganda pageant townhall, where he shifted blame and allowed the audience to slander and threaten NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch – knowing all the while that not only had his department ignored dozens of warnings, but he had four deputies on the scene – FOUR! - cowering outside and doing nothing as children were murdered en masse.
Well, I guess I can’t say they were “doing nothing” – the first deputy we heard about, Scot Peterson, reportedly thought he did “a good job” by calling in the location and description of the shooter and “setting up the perimeter.” That sounds like the type of excuse you’d expect from Deputy Barney Fife, except that Barney would have tried to save those kids, even though he had only one bullet.
This inexcusable behavior by the deputies has caused stories to resurface from 2016, when the sheriff was criticized for allegedly hiring political supporters. Most were in civilian jobs, but at least one was hired as a deputy. In any case, it suggests he had other priorities than hiring the best people for the job.
Those who thought they could use this horrifying tragedy to push a gun control agenda have seen reality turn swiftly and forcefully against them. Their arguments that Americans don’t need guns for self-defense or that we should depend on the authorities to keep us safe have been exposed as misguided and absurd. From the FBI to the state bureaucracy down to the local sheriff’s department, every level of government charged with protecting citizens failed miserably, either from indifference, laziness, incompetence or cowardice. And their solution? More government.
Legal gun owners have a saying: “When seconds count, the police are just minutes away.” But it’s worse than that. Even when some deputies are right outside, just seconds away, defending your life may still be up to you.
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