February 15, 2018
Parkland, Florida (and even Las Vegas) active shootings and massacres are a wake up call to protect our schools (and open arenas) on the grounds with undercover “School Marshalls,” much like we now protect our airplanes in the sky with undercover “Sky Marshalls” after the 911 Terrorists Attacks! Are folks inside our airplanes more important assets to protect than our children inside our schools? No way! This is all about protecting people more than devices, right!
“Seventeen people died on Wednesday when a former student entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and opened fire. As the community and the country grieve, names and details of the victims are gradually emerging. Here is some of what is known about the students and administrators who were killed in the tragedy.”
Presidential Proclamation Honoring the Victims of the Tragedy in Parkland, Florida
THE WHITE HOUSE
February 15, 2018
“Our Nation grieves with those who have lost loved ones in the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. As a mark of solemn respect for the victims of the terrible act of violence perpetrated on February 14, 2018, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, February 19, 2018. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.”
DONALD J. TRUMP
Our Holy Bible inside the Book of Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 says:
“He Gives Life’s Order of Events:
There’s an appointed time for everything. And there’s a time for every event under heaven,
A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what’s planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace.”
And now, here’s our time to speak.
Americans have some hard choices to make about gun control and constitutional rights to bear arms in the emotional wake of “a 19-year-old man who had been expelled from his Florida high school was held on 17 counts of murder on Thursday, February 15, 2018, the morning after authorities say he opened fire at the school, unleashing one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history, recounts also Reuters. “Amid continued string of mass shootings, gun control is going nowhere in Congress,” reports CNN, as “here are ten things the Parkland school shooting won’t change.”
Or, in the horrific wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting, or in the stunning wake of U.S. House Majority Whip (R-La.) Steve Scalise’s recount of the harrowing moments within a minute from death after he was shot at a 7 o’clock in the morning congressional baseball game recently back in June 2017 in northern Virginia.
America’s hard choices in the wakes of these emotional tragedies are not merely to support or oppose gun control, but to make the hard choices in the ongoing debate on who can own which guns under what conditions to protect ourselves, our families, our schools, our churches, our businesses, and our government (comprised of and representing us).
Historically speaking, total numbers of firearm-related incidents have actually fallen through the decades. Before 1993, the number of people killed or wounded by firearms skyrocketed. Thereafter, America has seen a precipitous drop in deaths due to firearms, including fatal firearms accidents reduced to approximately 40 percent in the last decade, and nowadays reduced to as high as 49 percent, according to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) conservative think-tank, with such fatal firearms accidents statistics resting now at their lowest levels ever chronicled.
Of the 31,224 people who died from gun violence, according to recent data reports on TIME.com, 12,632 people died from murderous gun violence, and the difference of 18,592 people died from self-inflicted suicide by gun fire, mostly by white men statistically.
I’m at Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas, where this small, very conservative community still holds onto its constitutional second amendment rights and liberties.
“The right to bear arms” was bestowed to the American citizenry by the framers of the constitution, who guarded against an over-reaching government. And, the framers included that right in the constitution before many other bills of rights, such as “the right to trial by jury, and the prohibitions against illegal search and arrest.”
Be that as it may, the issue of gun ownership has remained one of the most contentious debates in this country. Given there are over 250 million guns across the American social fabric today, there are currently over 35,000 gun-control laws on the books in this nation, which attempt to control a right that the constitution says “shall not be infringed,” and many of these laws include total gun bans in many American cities (not inclusive to several states as Texas).
Source: FactCheck.org (2013), Top 10 States with lowest gun-related death rates (in blue); Top 10 States with highest gun-related death rates (in orange)
The FBI had a clear tip on January 5, 2018 of the intent and clear capabilities of a former student, who entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and opened fire, mass killing seventeen innocent people.
As reported on February 16, 2018 in the Washington Examiner: “Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday ordered an “immediate review” of the Department of Justice and FBI after officials failed to follow up on a tip that Nikolas Cruz, who shot up his former Florida high school on Wednesday, could be a threat.
The FBI admitted that “protocols were not followed” in this case, and Sessions said a full inquiry would be made.
“It is now clear that the warning signs were there and tips to the FBI were missed. We see the tragic consequences of those failures,” Sessions said in a statement.
Sessions said he has ordered Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to conduct an “immediate review of our process” at the Justice Department and FBI “to ensure that we reach the highest level of prompt and effective response to indications of potential violence that come to us.”
“This includes more than just an error review but also a review of how we respond. This will include possible consultation with family members, mental health officials, school officials, and local law enforcement,” the attorney general said.
Sessions called the review a “top priority.” ”
Remarkably, the FBI finds the top weapon of choice of criminals involved in violent crimes they’ve investigated ironically is “a baseball bat” (categorized below as #9 non-firearm homicides just above #10 firearm homicides in a December 9, 2012 bar-charted statistical data comparison of Top 10 “Killers” of citizens in the U.S.).
“Why is there NO outcry to RESPECT baseball bat ownership?” asks second amendment advocates, “maybe because so many law-abiding citizens enjoy (baseball bats) safely, for sport.”
And so, the debate continues with the central questions being exactly what rights do Americans have with their ability to protect themselves and their property? And how far can the government go to either violate or protect these rights?
Our ongoing and continuing gun ownership debate is a longstanding part of the sociopolitical process in this nation. And, it will continue to surface in public reaction to future extreme disaster events and recovery, like the history-making Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay 32nd floor and Parkland, Florida high school shooting massacres, or the nightly gun killings on the harsh streets of several American cities, like Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago, or Los Angeles.
Just as important, all law-abiding Americans have the inalienable rights to their United States Constitutional Bill of Rights – all of them, including the 2nd Amendment “right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
Our third U.S. President Thomas Jefferson said,
“The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores The Constitution.”
And, our first U.S. President George Washington said:
“A free people ought not only be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.”
Therefore, my advice is to consider all combinations of legal frameworks and social education of domestic safety and Homeland security of our citizenry, and not just simply ‘following the herd in sociopolitical reaction after Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay 32nd floor extreme event of a suicidal madman’ randomly shooting into a crowd of 40,000 peacefully festive concertgoers. Or, most recently, perhaps as some kind of horribly warped symbolism on St. Valentine’s Day on Wednesday, February 14, 2018, a young gunman, involved in yet another extreme event of a Florida high school shooting, is being held by authorities on 17 murder counts of high school children.
Remember, we all are the future of our country and the protector of both civil and human rights of all of us as citizens!
President Donald Trump’s Address to The Nation on the Florida High School Tragedy
Below is the transcript of President Donald Trump address to the nation on Thursday, February 15, 2018, as released by the White House, a day after a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, left at least 17 dead.
“My fellow Americans, today I speak to a nation in grief. Yesterday, a school filled with innocent children and caring teachers became the scene of terrible violence, hatred and evil.
Around 2:30 yesterday afternoon, police responded to reports of gunfire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida — a great and safe community. There, a shooter, who is now in custody, opened fire on defenseless students and teachers. He murdered 17 people and badly wounded at least 14 others.
Our entire nation, with one heavy heart, is praying for the victims and their families. To every parent, teacher, and child who is hurting so badly, we are here for you — whatever you need, whatever we can do, to ease your pain. We are all joined together as one American family, and your suffering is our burden also.
No child, no teacher, should ever be in danger in an American school. No parent should ever have to fear for their sons and daughters when they kiss them goodbye in the morning.
Each person who was stolen from us yesterday had a full life ahead of them — a life filled with wondrous beauty and unlimited potential and promise. Each one had dreams to pursue, love to give, and talents to share with the world. And each one had a family to whom they meant everything in the world.
Today, we mourn for all of those who lost their lives. We comfort the grieving and the wounded. And we hurt for the entire community of Parkland, Florida, that is now in shock, in pain, and searching for answers.
To law enforcement, first responders, and teachers who responded so bravely in the face of danger: We thank you for your courage. Soon after the shooting, I spoke with Governor (Rick) Scott to convey our deepest sympathies to the people of Florida and our determination to assist in any way that we can. I also spoke with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.
I’m making plans to visit Parkland to meet with families and local officials, and to continue coordinating the federal response.
In these moments of heartache and darkness, we hold on to God’s word in scripture: “I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you.”
We trust in that promise, and we hold fast to our fellow Americans in their time of sorrow.
I want to speak now directly to America’s children, especially those who feel lost, alone, confused or even scared: I want you to know that you are never alone and you never will be. You have people who care about you, who love you, and who will do anything at all to protect you. If you need help, turn to a teacher, a family member, a local police officer, or a faith leader. Answer hate with love; answer cruelty with kindness.
We must also work together to create a culture in our country that embraces the dignity of life, that creates deep and meaningful human connections and that turns classmates and colleagues into friends and neighbors.
Our administration is working closely with local authorities to investigate the shooting and learn everything we can. We are committed to working with state and local leaders to help secure our schools, and tackle the difficult issue of mental health.
Later this month, I will be meeting with the nation’s governors and attorney generals, where making our schools and our children safer will be our top priority. It is not enough to simply take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference. We must actually make that difference.
In times of tragedy, the bonds that sustain us are those of family, faith, community, and country. These bonds are stronger than the forces of hatred and evil, and these bonds grow even stronger in the hours of our greatest need.
And so always, but especially today, let us hold our loved ones close, let us pray for healing and for peace, and let us come together as one nation to wipe away the tears and strive for a much better tomorrow.
Thank you. And God Bless you all. Thank you very much.”
In like fashion, President Trump’s speech from the White House on October 3, 2017 in the aftermath of the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay 32nd floor active shooter massacre was Spiritual and Godly. And, his speech established the perfect tone in a masterful use of his presidential powers of persuasion and compassion in the nation’s hour of need to have our president unite us as safe and secure citizens of community, equality and liberties.
The president praised law enforcement for their bravery in rapidly tracking down the (now deceased from suicide) active shooter, Stephen Paddock, 64, high atop Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay 32nd floor (unleashing several hundred rounds of bullets from automatic weaponry through a busted out window) over 40,000 concertgoers at the nearby Route 91 Harvest country music festival site Sunday evening, shortly after 10pm PT (1am ET), saying that “in moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one” in the wake of the largest domestic mass shooting in modern U.S. history, killing nearly 58 people and injuring and hospitalizing over 500 other concertgoers.