Imagine, if you will, what the news would have looked like if all the authorities who had seen the red flags had acted prior to the mass shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. What would the political landscape look like today?
Well, we don’t have to imagine. We don’t have to imagine because we have a real-life example.
Gardena police found several guns and a cache of ammunition at the home of a high school student who threatened campus violence in two social media posts this week, authorities said.
The investigation began Thursday when police received a call regarding a threat to Serra High School, according to the Gardena Police Department. Investigators identified a student who posted a threatening message earlier this week.
The teen posted a more specific threat Thursday, saying that violence would take place on campus. Detectives arrested the teen, who was not named, on suspicion of making criminal threats and possessing a firearm as a juvenile.
In other words, the teen made a threat, the police acted, and no one is dead.
That’s what should have happened in Parkland, but didn’t. In Gardena — a mass shooting no one will ever hear about because it was prevented — the efficiency of the local authorities saved countless lives. Why? Because they acted.
While the anti-gun left is focused like a laser on guns, there were numerous failures that led to Parkland. By now, most of us have heard about them. At every level, it seems, the shooter was given a pass by supposed adults who didn’t do their jobs. Some have blamed pressure from the Obama administration to end the “school to prison pipeline” and policies that rewarded schools for not reporting problematic behavior.
They’re not wrong to do so, either.
Yet that same mentality wasn’t on display in Gardena, California, of all places. There, the authorities acted. They acted swiftly and decisively and averted a complete disaster.
Was that because people were still on alert following Parkland? Maybe. Probably, even.
However, that’s irrelevant. What is relevant is that it worked. The system, when used, works just fine. The tragedy was averted and the would-be perpetrator is in custody.
With this, why are we going to continue hearing about gun control measures?
Well, it’s simple. It worked, and because it worked, it’s not making the headlines like Parkland did. Like the old newsroom saying goes, if it bleeds, it leads. Here, no one bled.
It’s a shame, but this case will be forgotten by next week. Meanwhile, we’ll still be debating about AR-15’s and 30-round magazines. We’ll still be arguing over whether someone should be able to buy a long gun at 18 or 21. We’ll still be having these discussions because the system that has nothing to do with gun control actually worked.
That’s probably the biggest shame of all of this. When everything goes like it’s supposed to, such as in this case, it’s quickly forgotten. It takes a Parkland for the discussion to last more than a day or two, and then it goes in the completely wrong direction. Then it becomes about taking away people’s rights.
No. Just no.
Use the system in place. Use it correctly. Making threats is a crime. It’s grounds for investigating further and, if necessary, arresting someone for more than making a threat. Use that to end these horrible tragedies.
Don’t punish people who had nothing to do with it.