Failed Gun Policy: Nikolaus Cruz Used a Legally Owned Gun

Nikolaus Cruz, the 19-year-old shooter who is accused of killing 17 people during a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, legally owned his AR-15 assault rifle. He did not have a criminal record, so he easily cleared the background check. And though Nikolaus Cruz’ public defenders say that he suffers from mental illness, that didn’t prevent him from legally buying a gun.

Current Federal law allows people who are 18 and over to purchase guns, including many types of assault weapons. A 19-year-old is not allowed to buy a beer, but is permitted to buy an assault weapon. We can prevent kids like Nikolaus Cruz from legally loading up on alcohol, but we can’t prevent them from legally stocking up on weapons and ammunition.

Though the United States has only 5 percent of the world’s population, it ranks first in the number of firearms per capita. And according to the Swiss-based Small Arms Survey, the U.S. “has about 35-50 percent of the world’s civilian-owned guns.” The United States also wins the prize for having the highest rate of homicide by firearms among the most developed nations.

“This happens nowhere else other than the United States of America…The scourge of school shooting after school shooting,” Said Senator Chris Murphy, speaking on the Senate Floor following the attack by Nikolaus Cruz.

“It only happens here not because of coincidence, not because of bad luck, but as a consequence of our inaction. We are responsible for a level of mass atrocity that happens in this country with zero parallel anywhere else. As a parent, it scares me to death that this body doesn’t take seriously the safety of my children….”

According to the Council on Foreign Relations, “As of 2017, there were no federal laws banning semiautomatic assault weapons, military-style .50 caliber rifles, handguns, or large-capacity magazines. There was a federal prohibition on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines between 1994 and 2004, but Congress allowed these restrictions to expire.”

This is the 18th shooting on a school property since the beginning of 2018. Eight of these shootings resulted in death or injuries. Clearly, the current Federal gun policies have failed our schools – and all of us. Will Congress finally recognize that they need to address current gun laws?

Probably not, as we consider that more than a few GOP senators have accepted substantial funds from the National Rifle Association (NRA) and other gun rights groups. According to the New York Daily News, for example, Senator Marco Rubio has received $3,303,355 from the NRA and other gun rights groups over the course of his political career. Senator Rob Portman has received $3,061,941 from the NRA during his political career.

Gun control doesn’t mean “taking away all guns.” It means enacting measures that more effectively keep firearms out of the hands of people like Nikolaus Cruz – those who are most likely to use them to kill or hurt themselves or others. But why does any private citizen need to be able to purchase an AR-15 assault rifle? And why is a kid like Niklaus Cruz, who isn’t old enough to legally buy a beer, old enough to legally buy a semiautomatic weapon?

Top U.S. and World Headlines |  Democracy Now! [2018-02-15]

Multiple Fatalities after Shooter Attacks Florida School |  Fox News [2018-02-14]

* Spicer’s Hitler statements, San Bernardino school shooting, The North Korea threat (2017-04-13)

Liberal & Uncategorized


1. Sean Spicer’s Disturbing Hitler Statement (2017-04-12)


Jimmy Kimmel Live – “During his daily briefing, Sporty Spicer made an absolutely incredible statement about Syrian President Assad. He said ‘even someone as despicable as Hitler, didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons’ which is, of course, very wrong, but watch this and listen closely because you can almost hear the voice inside his head.”

1. Sean Spicer: “Hitler, who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons…” (C-SPAN) (2017-04-11)


C-SPAN – “CLIPS: White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer: “Hitler, who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons…” -AND- his point of clarification on Hitler comments.”

2. Student killed in elementary school shooting (2017-04-11)


ABC News – “A suspect identified as Cedric Anderson allegedly killed his estranged wife and an 8-year-old student at a San Bernardino, California elementary school, before killing himself, authorities said.”

2. San Bernardino school shooting – NOT COVERED BY CONSERVATIVE MEDIA (2017-04-13)


3. Will the US try to denuclearise North Korea by force? – Inside Story (2017-04-10)


Al Jazeera English – “The US has rerouted several warships towards the region, after North Korea fired a ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan. The Carl Vinson strike group, which includes a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, was initially meant to be heading to Australia. Its new route is seen as a show of strength by the US, which is also putting pressure on regional powers. President Trump has spoken to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about countering threats from Pyongyang. And Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says China has agreed that action must be taken. To what lengths will Washington go, to removing a potential threat? Presenter: Laura Kyle. Guests: Jean Lee – Global fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center; Victor Gao – Director of the China National Association of International Studies; Jim Walsh – Research associate at MIT’s Security Studies Program.”

3. Oliver North: No doubt Trump would fire at North Korea (2017-04-10)


Fox Business – “‘War Stories’ Host Lt. Col. Oliver North reacts to the latest conflicts involving North Korea and Syria.”