Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old suspect in Florida's Wednesday school shooting, has reportedly confessed to having opened fire on his former teachers and classmates.
According to reports, the FBI had been warned about the shooting months ago by a bail bondsman.
The right to bear arms is a constitutional freedom in America. It is guaranteed under the Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution. It was adopted in 1791. Gun organizations in the country are among the most politically powerful groups. America is home to some of the deadliest mass shootings in the history. It has six times as many firearm homicides as Canada, and nearly 16 times as many as Germany. It is home to 4.4% of the global population, however, nearly half of all civilian owned guns are in the US.
In February 2018, a gunman, who has been identified as Nikolas Cruz, entered a high school in Florida, USA and opened fire. The attack has resulted in the deaths of at least 17 people including children and many more are being treated for injuries in the hospital. 19-year-old Cruz was reportedly a former student who was expelled from the school for unspecified disciplinary reasons.
This is one of the 10 deadliest shootings in US history. Twelve people were found dead inside the school, two were killed outside the building, one in the street, and two died later in hospital from their injuries. According to the police, the shooter was carrying an AR-15 rifle and “multiple magazines.”
US President Donald Trump at first took to Twitter to react to the development. He seemed to point the blame on people for not notifying Cruz’s behavior to authorities noting, “So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!”
However, during his address he struck a more conciliatory tone and expressed his sympathies to the victims and their families. He also noted the importance of addressing mental health in the country. He said, “It is not enough to simply take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference. We must actually make that difference.”
Reports have now emerged that at least one person raised concerns over Cruz’s behavior to the FBI. A former bail bondsman who is also an active Youtuber was concerned by a comment left by a user named Nikolas Cruz in one of his videos. The comment stated that the user wanted to become a “professional” school shooter. The blogger has identified himself as Ben Bennight. The FBI has now noted that it has launched a review over how it had initially handled the complaint.
President Trump during his address however did not make a single mention of gun control laws. During President Obama’s tenure, a legislation had been introduced that would make those with mental health disabilities from owning guns. In 2017, Trump revoked that legislation after he assumed power.
Meanwhile, students who were present at the school during the shooting have taken to social media calling for stricter legislation and gun control laws. As for Cruz himself, many of his former classmates noted strange behavioral issues that he had displayed. "A lot of people were saying that it would be him," a student told WFOR-TV of Cruz's reputation at the high school, from which he was expelled last year. "They would say he would be the one to shoot up the school. Everyone predicted it."
It remains unclear why Cruz had been expelled from the school in the first place. There are also conflicting reports on whether Cruz belonged to a white supremacist group.
Our assessment is that in the coming weeks it will become clearer as to why the FBI chose to dismiss the complaints raised against Cruz. In the meantime, the debate over gun control laws has once again come to the forefront. The National Rifle Association remains as one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington and the organization has long been against gun control laws which they believe to be unconstitutional. President Trump himself is considered a supporter for the NRA as he was the first President in two decades to give a keynote address at an NRA event in 2017.