Another Tragedy – Another Blame Game
2:47PM Thursday, February 15 2018
by Jim Shepherd
With news of [Wednesday]’s tragedy in Broward County, Florida we’re reeling -again- over the senseless slaughter of at least seventeen people. This time the tragedy is in Parkland, Florida, population 31,000.
Again, the killer appears to be another angry teen. One expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for “disciplinary reasons”.
Again, preliminary investigations are starting to point to another disturbed person whose intent may have been obvious to anyone who cared to look – or say something if they had.
After investigating the “digital profile” of 19-year-old Nikolaus Cruz the suspect in custody, Broward County Sheriff Department officials say what they’ve found is “very, very disturbing.”
Last year, Parkland was named Florida’s safest city by the National Council for Home Safety and Security. According to the stats, Parkland had seven reported violent crimes and 186 property crimes last year.
Parkland sounds like the city you’d search for if you wanted a safe place to raise a family. In fact, Parkland sounds reminiscent of a peaceful little community in Connecticut that is still trying to recover from a school massacre.
Parkland, like Newtown, Connecticut, seemed like one of those islands of sanity in a sea of crazy-until yesterday.
One of my best friends called me yesterday, asking me if there were anything we -meaning the industry- could “do” to help prevent these situations.
Instead of getting angry over the inference that the industry was somehow condoning these crazies, I explained the industry wasn’t the cause of these kinds of irrational acts, but had been “doing something” to try and help for years.
The NSSF and the ATF have Operation Secure Store, a program for federal firearms dealers to better secure their inventories and prevent thefts. The NSSF took the big step of addressing the problem of suicide- and has worked to help people identify signs of instability before they become tragedies.
Gun companies have given away millions of gun locks, pushed programs to teach safe firearms storage, and there’s no one in the industry who doesn’t champion the fact that firearms ownership comes with a responsibility to make certain that your guns are secure.
But crazy people still get access to them – and use them for heinous crimes.
Does that make us – the industry – responsible?
But it does mean we must keep pushing for politicians and health care providers to deal with a core problem – mental illness – temporary or long-term.
Guns, any way you dissect it, are not the problem. But we can’t stop with explaining that- we must push for substantive measures to address the real issues.
The blood dancing will begin again…and once again, the industry will be blamed for -something.
Unfortunately, there are no easy answers for these kinds of questions.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be looking to see where we can help – and pushing for action.
Republished from The Outdoor Wire.