First it was revealed that the FBI had received a tip about the Parkland shooter a few months ago, yet the agency did nothing.
Then we find out that the local sheriff's office received over 20 calls about the shooter, including an explicit warning that he "planned to shoot up a school," yet it did nothing.
Finally, yesterday — just a day after the Broward County Sheriff went on CNN and condemned the NRA — we were told that a police officer was on the scene during the shooting, but he waited outside while children were murdered. He never entered the building. Unarmed kids and teachers were heroically rushing toward danger, shielding each other from bullets, while a man with a badge and a gun huddled outside in fear. It's unconscionable. I have no idea if criminal charges can be filed against the officer for his dereliction of duty, but I hope they can and will be.
The whole thing bears a striking resemblance to the Las Vegas shooting — based on what little we even know about it. In that case, just as in Florida, police were on the scene immediately but failed to engage the shooter. They waited until an hour after the shooting had already stopped, and 59 people including the shooter lay dead, before they entered his hotel room. And the FBI put a similar level of incompetence on display, allowing a key witness in the case to leave the country only days after the attack.
Government failed at every level there as it did here. But the failure in Florida seems even more spectacular and shameful when you consider just where this shooting took place: in a government facility.
The government demands that you send your child to its schools. Florida puts parents in jail if their kids don’t show up to class. And yet, after dragging these students into the building, forcing them to be there under penalty of imprisonment, it did not take even the most basic measures necessary to ensure their safety. The State accepted these children into its care — forced these children into its care, more like — and then left them exposed. It is a travesty and an outrage.
The government failed because of incompetence. The government failed because of cowardice. The government failed because of apathy. It failed for many reasons and in many ways, but the point is that it failed. The point is that you cannot depend upon it to protect you or your children, even in its own schools. This is one of the great lessons we can take from the Parkland tragedy. The first lesson is that human evil is real and it is everywhere. The second lesson is that we cannot have any confidence that the State will protect us from it. Our first line of defense must be ourselves. That is the most essential takeaway here.
Nobody cares more about your own safety than you. Nobody cares more about your children's safety than you. Nobody is better equipped to protect you and your children than you. There are many fine and brave government agents who really are concerned with protecting the public, but how do I know that the fine and brave ones will be there for me when I need them? I don’t. They certainly weren't there for the 17 victims in Parkland.
Self-defense is the only kind of defense we can really count on.