The story of the Valentine’s Day shooting at a school in Florida carried so many familiar warning bells but the truth is these horrendous acts of evil will continue in America until the nation gets to grips with its gun laws.
We’re told teachers were warned in advance about former student Nikolas Cruz who has now been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder following the deadliest shooting at a US school since 2012.
The death toll now stands at 17 and several others are said to be in a critical condition.
Maths teacher Jim Gard told the Miami Herald that school authorities had emailed teachers about Cruz’s behaviour and that he wasn’t allowed to return to the campus with a backpack on him after allegations that he threatened pupils last year before being expelled.
While briefing the media, Superintendent Robert Runcie said: “We received no warnings. Potentially there could have been signs out there. But we didn’t have any warning or phone calls or threats that were made.”
The fire alarm at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, was deliberately set off at 14:30 local time (19:30 GMT) which caused some students and staff to flood in to the corridors where eye witnesses say the gunman threw smoke grenades and was wearing a gas mask.
Other pupils hid under desks or in store cupboards or barricaded doors as loud shots were fired.
No doubt the gory details will come out during a trial but the fact this was America’s 300th school shooting since 2013 must surely be seen as a wake up call by those who continue to defend the right to bear arms. When that law first came in to being guns took around 30 seconds to prime and fire before reloading with single shots. Today most US citizens can walk in to a gun store and buy semi automatics and other repeat firing guns with the greatest of ease.
Sadly the US President Donald Trump, like so many incumbents in the White House, is under the thumb of the powerful gun lobby including the National Rifle Association. It will take a strong man or woman to stand up to the NRA and all of its gun-toting cronies, but don’t expect changes any time soon.
Just check out this tweet from the leader of the Free World if you’re in any doubt:
— Aamer Anwar (@AamerAnwar) February 15, 2018
— Elizabeth Banks (@ElizabethBanks) February 15, 2018
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