By Stefan M. Kløvning
Parkland, FL – On February 14 the expelled student Nikolas Cruz returned to his former school and took the lives of seventeen students. The event occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, about fifty miles north of Miami. He used an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle to perpetrate the attack, also wearing a gas mask and throwing in smoke grenades.
The Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, talked of the incident as “just absolutely pure evil.” Cruz has reportedly told the authorities that he was instructed by inner voices how to carry out the shooting. As he has been kicked out of high school, talked of killing animals to friends, and posted several photos of guns on social media, it has been argued that the shooting could have been prevented if the warning signs weren’t overlooked. He posted a comment on a YouTube video in 2017, for instance, that said “I’m going to be a professional school shooter”, which FBI was informed of. They failed, however, to identify who was behind the comment, as it was uncertain how many ‘Nikolas Cruz’ there are on YouTube.
His math teacher Jim Gard told the Miami Herald that Cruz had been threatening students last year and had been asked to leave the campus, not being permitted to enter with a backpack on him.
The store he bought the AR-15 rifle in has been identified by Brownard County Office to have been Sunrise Tactical Supply in Coral Springs. A law enforcement officer told the Associated Press that he had passed a background test and the weapon was bought legally in February 2017. The weapon has been called “America’s most popular rifle” by the National Rifle Association, and have been a common weapon-of-choice in mass shootings such as this one. The murderers in both Texas, Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs – to mention a few – also used AR-15s in their horrific acts.
A lot of politicians have been speaking out about this event. The President, for instance, posted on Twitter:
My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting. No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school.
Senator Bill Nelson highlighted the point that this is a recurring and highly problematic issue in American society, saying “I have already said my prayers to give them comfort. But this is a tough time. We say ‘enough is enough’, but it happens again.”
Marco Rubio also spoke out on the issue, saying on Twitter that “it is clear [the] attack was designed & executed to maximize loss of life.”