The blame for February’s tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida, lies with school and law enforcement officials who refused to get tough with shooter Nikolas Cruz in the months leading up to the attack that left 17 people dead, National Rife Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch said Saturday.
Speaking at the Western Conservative Summit, she said authorities “protected” Cruz because they were more focused on student arrest numbers than student safety,The Washington Times reported.
“He was sending death threats to other classmates through social media platforms which under Florida law, under the state statute, that’s a felony,” she said.
“But because of that Promise program which he was enrolled in, none of it was reported. It was all under the radar. He didn’t have a criminal record because (superintendent) Robert Runcie and (Sheriff) Scott Israel prevented him from having one,” she said.
School officials have said Cruz was enrolled in a program that sought to help troubled students through counseling. The lack of effective action led to tragedy, Loesch said.
“They protected his criminal activity,” she said.
“They might as well have walked into the gun store and bought the gun for him.” she said.
Loesch’s contention that school officials played a role in the tragedy has also been mentioned by shooting survivor Anthony Borges, who in April issued a statement calling out officials for their failures.
In addressing Runcie and Israel, the statement said, “I want to thank you for visiting me in the hospital. But I want to say that both of you failed us students and parents and teachers alike on so many levels,” according to the Sun Sentinel
“I want all of us to move forward to end the environment that allowed people like Nikolas Cruz to fall through the cracks. You knew he was a problem years ago and you did nothing. He should have never been in school with us,” the statement said, according to WPBF.
“I want to ask you today to end your policy and agreement that you will not arrest people committing crimes in our school,” the statement said.
The weekend summit also featured Parkland survivor Kyle Kashuv, who has spoken out against liberals hijacking the tragedy for their political purposes.
“Here’s what happened at my school: Immediately after, the left mobilized and used this beneficial opportunity to push for gun control,” Kashuv said. “They didn’t waste a single second at all. The left, mainstream media and celebrities came out from everywhere and every single corner to push for gun control.”
Kashuv said efforts to take guns away are wrong.
“The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun,” he said.
“If you have a gun-free zone, there’s absolutely nothing you can do (in a school shooting)… We should be pushing for policy to allow first responders to be armed. That includes teachers and staff and police officers at every school, who are properly trained,” Kashuv said, according to KCNC.
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