Hearing of the mass execution of innocents at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Fla., caused me to want to really search my soul looking for an answer to this unprecedented carnage. I really thought to myself, “Should we truly reconsider gun legislation?” But I knew that this was my emotions talking, the pain and the anguish of trying to understand what is making this horrible, tragic, revolving door that keeps repeating and repeating, taking more and more lives continue.
But then my rational side kicks in and reminds me that it was not the gun that woke up one day and decided to walk out and commit this act, it was the human being, that fragile, complex, sometimes self-absorbed and emotionally and mentally stressed individual who committed this act. It was the gun, his tool of choice, that he used to complete his madness.
Too many times I have read where the FBI was shown to be aware of these individual’s rants and postings to social media but for some unknown reason decided that it was not in their best interest to make anyone aware of it or just dropped the ball. The F.B.I. acknowledged that it had failed to act on a warning last month that Nikolas Cruz, the suspect in Wednesday’s shooting, might kill people at a school.
There are so many clues that are out there from neighbors, other students, teachers, social media, and many, many, other indicators that were indicators to this possible violence… we just failed to listen, we failed to ACT.
What do we do? First of all, we need to stop being “politically correct”, let’s stop looking at those individuals who see something but fail to come forward for fear of being ridiculed, or even sued by the individual who they suspect is planning to harm someone. We must begin to understand whether or not this individual has a valid concern through inquiry and valid investigation. If an individual is using this as a means of revenge, then appropriate measures should be taken to deal with this matter. But to not do anything or just ignore it is wrong. Businesses and school districts should not have to wait until the individual, who has threatened, bullied, and become feared by employees and employers to have to commit some crime before anything can be done. How many lives have been lost in domestic abuse cases because the ONLY recourse the spouse or employer had was to file a “restraining order”. These orders have little or no impact to the individual and on many occasions can trigger that individual to commit a violent assault against the person he has been harassing or bullying.
School districts must begin in earnest in evaluating those students that indicate they are violent or have been a threat to their school by establishing a committee that consisting of the student’s teacher, nurse, parents, law enforcement, friends, neighbors, and counselors, who can bring all the evidence to one place and truly provide an evaluation of this individual. These evaluations can work in determining if he is truly a threat and provide a solution for not only this student’s safety but also those other students who can become innocent targets. These reviews could bring to light many issues that one person may be aware of but was never examined under in totality. One may learn that this individual enjoys shooting or burning animals, has problems interacting with other students, uses the internet to attack other individuals, or even has other issues that only his parent could reveal. Many of these traits are indicative of other mental diseases and could lead to more violent behavior if left unchecked and treated.
We can no longer sit by, wringing our hands, and hope this goes away… it won’t. Until we begin to truly understand what makes these individuals explode it will never stop. Unless we speak up and report unusual or bizarre behavior it will not stop, until we identify those individuals who need mental help, it won’t stop.
If nothing else, think about you and your family. Are you really satisfied and feel safe and secure knowing that someone out there is on the verge of shooting up another school, movie theatre, outdoor entertainment venue, and you and your family could be the next victim? Is that really the life we have made for ourselves? It’s time we made a stand!
If I can be of any assistance to you or your organization, please do not hesitate to contact me via email, text message, or go to my website at www.rgonzalesconsulting.com.
Be Safe… God Bless