Parkland One Year Later: The Government Has Blood On Their Hands

Parkland One Year Later: The Government Has Blood On Their Hands Rally for our Rights Colorado
Today marks one year since the United States saw a school massacre that broke the hearts of a nation, ignited a fire in new activists, and if you’re paying attention – shattered your trust in government.  That massacre being the Parkland, Florida school shooting where 19 year old Nikolas Cruz took the lives of 14 classmates and three teachers.

On February 14th, 2018 Nikolas Cruz took an Uber with a backpack equipped with an AR-15, grenades, and ammo to his old school.  He walked past the school security monitor, Andrew Medina, who knew he wasn’t allowed on school grounds and found his presence “suspicious”, although did nothing.  Cruz walked past the building where school resource officer, Scot Peterson, was talking with another student.  Peterson was employed as a sheriff’s deputy with the Broward County Sheriff’s Department, but his charge was to protect the students at Parkland High School.  It should also be noted that Peterson was the only armed person permitted to be on school grounds.  Cruz walked through the unsecured school doors into his former high school from which he’d been expelled.  In this gun free zone not one person attempted to stop him, nor was there any security measures in place.  At 2:21 pm he opened fire.  It was a rampage that would last at least 20 minutes before Cruz simply walked out of the school and into a nearby neighborhood, where he was eventually captured and confessed.

Heartbreaking.  How can this kind of tragedy happen?  It shouldn’t have.  And it wouldn’t have if the government had done their job.  

The Parkland High School Shooting spurred a gun control movement this country hasn’t seen in decades.  March for our Lives formed under umbrella groups Moms Demand Action and Everytown For Gun Safety, all which are funded by Michael Bloomberg, have taken to the streets and the halls of congress.  Frantic and misguided students, parents, teachers and individuals have exploited the Parkland tragedy calling for massive gun control across the nation – from city ordinances to federal laws.  What they should be acknowledging instead is the complete and utter government failure that allowed Parkland to happen in the first place. More laws were not needed. The current laws simply needed to be enforced.

The government has blood on their hands, and as a mother I say that unapologetically.  

• Nikolas Cruz was not a stranger to Broward County law enforcement.  In fact, police had been called to his home at least 37 times over the course of only a few years. 37 TIMES!  The reasons ranged from harming animals (shooting chickens with a pellet gun), assault on his mother, assault on his siblings, harming himself, threatening to harm himself, threatening to harm others, and more.  Not once was he charged.  Not once did the police take any action, even though action on almost all of these would have required his name to be entered into the NICS database preventing him from legally being able to purchase a firearm.

• In addition to the 37 reports law enforcement did follow up on (although ultimately ignored in the end), in February 2016 a tipster called Broward Sheriff’s Office to say Cruz ‘could be a school shooter in the making’ and had been making threats on Instagram, but deputies did not write up a report on that warning, instead they forwarded it to School Resource Officer Scot Peterson. That report came just weeks after a relative called urging Broward Sheriff’s Office to investigate if he should have the weapons he had, and possibly seize them.  In the end, both reports were ignored.

• Late in 2016 a “peer counselor” reported to School Resource Officer Scot Peterson that Cruz had possibly ingested gasoline in a suicide attempt, was cutting himself and wanted to buy a gun. A mental health counselor advised against involuntarily committing Cruz.  In Florida, such action can be done under the Baker Act, which allows the state to involuntarily commit individuals deemed a threat to themselves or others. People committed under the Baker Act are legally barred from obtaining firearms.  This event was followed up on by Florida Department of Children and Families, and even though he had fresh cuts from “cutting” and his mother shared her fear that he constantly talked of wanting to buy a firearm, he was deemed stable and, once again, ignored.

• In September 2017 a YouTube user named “nikolas cruz” postsed a comment stating he wanted to become a “professional school shooter.” The comment was reported to the FBI in Mississippi, but was not followed up on.

• In November 2017 a family member called Broward County Sheriff’s Office to report that Nikolas Cruz was dangerous, had made legitimate threats, and had weapons.  Her concerns were ignored when Cruz told them he’d give the weapons to a family friend.  This again would have been a legitimate use of the Baker Act.

• Also in November 2017, after Cruz’ mother died, he was taken in by a Palm Beach County family.  They contacted the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office to report a fight between Cruz and their 22 year old son. A member of the family said that Cruz had threatened to “get his gun and come back” and that he had “put the gun to others’ heads in the past.” The family did not want him arrested, so the report was ignored.

And again in November 2017 a caller from Massachusetts reported that Cruz is collecting guns and knives and was threatening to be a “school shooter in the making.” A Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy advised the caller to contact the Palm Beach sheriff.  If the caller ever did contact Palm Beach, it’s not on record.

• In January 5, 2018 a report came in to the FBI’s tip line claiming that Cruz has “a desire to kill people” and could potentially conduct a school shooting. The information was never passed on to the FBI’s office in Miami.  The FBI has even publicly acknowledged their failure.

And these are only the failures BEFORE the incident.  Since the incident it has come to light that:

• The only other armed person on school grounds, resource officer Scot Peterson, hid behind a concrete wall during the rampage.

• School Security Monitor, Andrew Medina, had a long history of sexually harassing female students, all which was swept under the rug.

• Broward County Sheriff took 26 minutes to enter to the school.

• Nikolas Cruz was easily able to walk out of the school, blending in with other students and walked into a nearby neighborhood, where he was later arrested.

• After a lawsuit against the Broward County Sheriff’s Department, the school district, and Parkland High, a judge determined that NONE of these entities had a responsibility to protect the students.

You would think after all of this, those closest to the tragedy would be asking why – and how – this kind of failure is possible.  You would think that in the change they wish to see, the government would be the last place they’d be seeking it.  I mean, what makes them think anything will change?  History shows it won’t and it doesn’t, and, in fact,  nearly every mass shooting the US has seen government failure like this exist behind it.

Even last summer during a counter protest Rally for our Rights held while March for our Lives was staging a “March on the NRA”, a conversation afterward between myself and the organizers of the other event resulted in agreement that these failures exist, and that before we discuss new laws, we should be discussing why our current laws are failing.

What is the solution?  We need to acknowledge our society has a violence problem and a suicide problem, but to call it a gun problem is disingenuous.  To create gun control laws that disarm and effect only the law abiding is a false sense of security.  Mental health is a strong component of this issue.  Any individual who will walk into a school and execute students is mentally ill, even if not previously diagnosed.

We have soft targets in schools such as Parkland, where someone like Cruz can simply wander in with nothing in his way, and not one person inside the school is legally given the ability to defend the students they care for as their own.  Programs such as FASTER Colorado provides no cost or low cost intensive training to school staff who voluntarily choose to be armed and is approved by their school board.  They are also provided with deep concealment training, trauma training, and psychological training.

In the end, we will never eradicate evil, but we can defend ourselves from it.  

 

Questions Everyone Should Be Asking About Red Flag Emergency Risk Protection Gun Laws

Questions Everyone Should Be Asking About Red Flag Emergency Risk Protection ERPO Gun Laws : Rally for our Rights Colorado

If you’re not familiar with Red Flag Laws, also known as Emergency Risk Protection Orders (ERPO),  you’re not paying enough attention.  And if you know what Red Flag Laws are and support them, you’re probably also not paying enough attention.

Red Flag Laws allow an intimate partner, former intimate partner, or family member to make a report to the courts with claims that an individual is going to either hurt themselves or others with a firearm.  Within 24 hours the court hears a preponderance of evidence and issues an order to have the persons gun confiscated.

To some people, this sounds good on the surface.  I mean, who doesn’t want to save lives?  But feel good laws like these do more harm than good, and this one is no exception.  In fact, it may be one of the worst.   These laws lack due process, they grossly violate our right to keep and bear arms, and they would have a chilling effect on free speech.  Not to mention they would prevent people who truly need help from seeking it – especially those who are suicidal.

There are many questions we should be asking.  Here are some that I’ve developed after reading through the language in these proposed bills in many states.

• How can lawmakers ensure a stalker or domestic abuser is prevented from using an ERPO to disarm their victims, potentially putting those in our society who need protection the most in harms way?

• Are there safeguards in place to prevent this from being used as a form of retaliation or as a hate crime – for example being used to disarm a transgender person, a person of color, or a certain religion?

• Why is all information such as accusers, allegations, accusations, etc sealed and require a court order for release?

• Many of these ERPO’s allow the accuser to report via telephone, as well as attend the initial hearing via telephone – making these easier to obtain than a Temporary Protection Order, opening the door to rampant abuse.

• What kind of proof is required that the accuser is or has been in an intimate relationship with the accused, or is a family member?

• What kind of punishment would be in a Red Flag Bill for false accusers?

• Will requiring police to confiscate the guns of people who could be innocent, put law enforcement officers in harms way?

• When these confiscation orders are being carried out, quite likely against someone who is innocent, will that put families and children at risk?

• Why are these laws being promoted as “mental health” laws when in fact they have no mental health components?

• Because the accused who would have their firearms confiscated has not been accused of a crime, they would not be eligible for a public defender to get their firearms back, leaving the poor in our society at a disadvantage.

Do you have other questions that I have missed?  Drop them in the comments.  

Here is how these laws would work:

Step 1: A petitioner (either a current or former intimate partner, or a family member, with no proof required) makes a report via telephone or in person that you have firearms, have bought firearms, or have bought ammunition – and that they have heard you make a threat that you may harm another or yourself.

Step 2: A court hearing is scheduled within 24 hours either over the phone or in person with the petitioner to determine if an Emergency Risk Protection Order (aka Red Flag Order) should be issued.  The one most important person notably missing from this hearing is YOU.  You are not even so much as informed that this hearing is taking place.  During this hearing the judge will hear a “preponderance of evidence” from the petitioner, and only the petitioner, with the goal to convince the fact finder that there is a greater than 50% chance that the claim is true.

Step 3: An Emergency Risk Protection Order (ERPO) is issued.  The sheriff’s department will visit your home and demand you turn over your firearms, and if you refuse to comply, they will be confiscated by force (placing everyone present in a dangerous situation).  YOU will be left alone, without what may be your most important means of self defense – your firearm – because someone just had it confiscated.  It doesn’t matter if you bought that firearm to protect yourself from a stalker, an abuser, or simply to walk home from work late at night. It also doesn’t matter if the person who requested your firearms be confiscated is that same abuser or stalker.

Step 4: Then, and only then, will you be given instructions as to how to defend yourself in court and get your firearms back.

You can read more about Colorado’s 2018 version of the Red Flag Bill here.  A new bill has not yet been introduced for the 2019 legislative session, but it undoubtedly will be.

If you want to be part of the fight to defend your gun rights, please subscribe to our email list and/or make a donation.

60 YO Man Killed In Self Defense By 23 YO Woman Is Memorialized As “Gun Violence” Victim

60 YO Man Killed In Self Defense By 23 YO Woman Is Memorialized As “Gun Violence” Victim - Rally for our Rights - Bruce Jones Aubrey Bowlin

UPDATE:  On Sunday evening, December 16th, the GunMemorial website quietly removed this perpetrator from their pages after receiving so much backlash from this article.  Unfortunately, we have discovered thousands of other violent criminals who were killed in self defense on their site. We’ll be exposing some of the worst here soon.

On February 8, 2018 a young woman shot and killed her attacker during a public road rage incident.  23 year old Aubrey Bowlin, was riding her motorcycle along I-5 in Milton, Washington when an irate driver began to act recklessly.

According to witnesses, 60 year old Bruce Jones was distraught by the way Bowlin was driving her motorcycle.  He boxed her into a location she could not drive away from. Jones exited his vehicle and physically attacked the young woman who was sitting on her bike. A fight followed, initiated by the much larger man.  At one point, Bowlin head-butted Jones, who then drove Bowlin’s head into the jersey barrier before taking her to the ground.  He hit her and shook her, she described, like a dog shaking a toy in its mouth. He violently tried to rip her helmet off and was choking her with the neck strap.  She believed he was going to choke her to death. Bowlin shot Jones once in the chest when he attempted to climb on top of her.  Jones died at the scene.

No charges were filed and Bowlin was exonerated by the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, as this was a clear case of self defense.  Bowlin was a permitted concealed pistol carrier.  She called 911 after ending the attack with her fatal shot, and waited at the scene.  She did everything right, although according to her, she still suffers from PTSD.

Seems like an open and shut case, right?  Nope.

It’s been discovered that the website gunmemorial.org, which puts up photos of people whose lives have been “lost to gun violence,” is memorializing this perpetrator as a “gun violence victim”.  In fact, 90 virtual candles have been lit for him at the time of this writing.  This is a man who nearly pummeled a 23 year old woman to death on the side of the interstate for the public to see.  And he is being held up as the victim by the anti-gun community.

60 YO Man Killed In Self Defense By 23 YO Woman Is Memorialized As “Gun Violence” Victim - Rally for our Rights - Bruce Jones Aubrey Bowlin

It begs the question of how many other of these so-called “victims” are actually perpetrators.  The anti-gun movement has adopted the term “homicide” when speaking of stats.  But did you know homicide and murder are not the same?  Homicide is all death except suicide – even justified deaths, such as those killed in self defense, as is the example here, as well as law enforcement related deaths.  Murder is a malicious act with the intent to cause death (or serious harm resulting in death).  Aubrey Bowlin could have been a murder victim, but she was not because instead she made Bruce Jones a homicide case.  See how that works?  With the ability to sway public opinion so easily by simply using a different word, it’s no wonder those who wish to to take away an individual’s right to self defense with a firearm would use the term homicide in their argument as it carries a much higher number.  A number that portrays perpetrators as victims.

It doesn’t take much digging into this Gun Memorial website to find their connection to the Gun Violence Archive – the website behind the widely spread number of 307 “mass shootings” in 2018 – a story we completely debunked after doing some serious research. (By the way, that real number is 6, not 307).  Gun Violence Archive also makes a habit out of holding up violent criminals as victims – simply by using the word homicide.

Why is it the same people who claim to support women’s rights, want to take away a woman’s right to defend herself with a firearm?  Help us get this billboard up by donating here: www.gofundme.com/gun-rights-billboards

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You’re Being Lied To About Mass Shootings – And It’s Worse Than You Think

It seems like we can’t go a day without the media hyping up yet another story about yet another mass shooting. The media loves to make evil people famous.  And when they start sharing numbers and stats about these shootings, a distracted populace believes them without question.

On November 8, 2018 – the day after the heartbreaking Thousand Oaks shooting – Denver Channel 7, USA Today, Yahoo, and several other mainstream news outlets released articles claiming that there have been 307 mass shootings in the United States during 2018. Rally for our Rights decided to look into this and what we found surprised even us.  The American public is being grossly lied to – and they should care.

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In order to determine how many mass shootings there are, we need to know the definition of a mass shooting. Finding that definition seems easy enough, right?  Think again.  There are actually many definitions of “mass shooting” and most seem to be arbitrarily made up to fit the narrative an organization or publication wishes to push.

Mother Jones defines mass shooting as: “Indiscriminate rampages in public places resulting in four or more victims killed by the attacker, excluding the death of the attacker.”

The Gun Violence Archive defines a mass shooting as: “Four or more shot or killed, not including the shooter. They also do not remove any subcategory of shooting – meaning they don’t exclude, set apart, caveat, or differentiate victims based upon the circumstances in which they were shot – including crime, gang activity, and domestic/familial incidents.”

The “experts” at Reddit have decided to make up their own definition, therefore Reddit defines a mass shooting as:  “Four plus people injured or killed by firearm, including the gunman.”

Finally we come to the Congressional Research Service’s definition: “The incident takes place in a public area involving four or more deaths—not including the gunman, the shooter selects victims indiscriminately, the violence in these incidents are not a means to an end.”  It should be noted that CRS breaks up shootings involving four or more individuals as public, familial, and felony (robbery, gang activity, etc).  This is because the motives behind each vary greatly.

To make matters even more confusing, the FBI has separate definitions for “mass murder” and “active shooter”.

There are several inconsistencies between each of these definitions. For such a severe issue that allegedly only occurs in the United States, why do we not have a universal definition for this type of event? And why is it the government can agree on the definition, but the gun grabbers won’t use it?

For the sake of this investigation, we used the definition put forth by the Congressional Research Service.  The CRS’s website explains that it “works exclusively for the United States congress, providing policy and legal analysis to committees and members of both members of the house and senate, regardless of party affiliation.” The website further explains that the CRS  is a “shared staff to congressional committees and members of congress. CRS experts assist at every stage of the legislative process.” To put it simply, congress uses the CRS’s research to develop policy and create laws.

THE LIE

Now that we’re “armed” with the facts we need, lets dissect the statistics being pushed by the media.

The stats used in the news sources cited above stating there have been 307 mass shootings thus far in 2018 are from the Gun Violence Archive.  Okay, let’s look a little deeper into the GVA. The mission statement on their website states it is a “non-profit corporation formed in 2013 to provide free online public access to accurate information about gun related violence in the United States.”

We dug into the website’s “mass shooting” report for 2018. We filtered the list by lowest deaths to highest. Immediately 11 out of the 13 pages were disqualified, as there were between 0 and 3 deaths per incident. That means right away, 287 incidents out of 307 do not qualify as a mass shooting by definition. In fact, 155 of these incidents resulted in zero deaths.  This is unbelievable.

That leaves only two pages to dig through. The most common theme with the remaining list of incidents is that they were primarily either family or domestic violence related. Using the definition used by the CRS, that removes all but six shootings that actually count as a public mass shooting. Yes folks, there have only been SIX mass shootings this year in the United States – not 307.

Here are the six qualifying incidents:

  • February 14, 2018, Broward County Florida (Parkland), 17 dead, 17 injured.
  • April 22, 2018, Antioch, Tennessee, 4 dead, 3 injured.
  • May 18, 2018, Santa Fe Texas, 10 dead, 13 injured.
  • June 28, 2018 Annapolis, Maryland, 5 dead, two injured.
  • October 27, 2018, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 11 dead, 7 injured.
  • November 7, 2018, Thousand Oaks, California, 13 dead, 2 injured.

Six mass shootings compared to 307 is a substantial difference. The media easily plays off the ignorance of the public, taking advantage of the fact that there is not a universal definition of “mass shooting”, and blowing up an issue that, although very tragic, is only part of a larger picture of violent crime, most of which does not involve firearms.

WHY THIS MATTERS

This clearly shows that the media has a blatant disregard for the truth.  They either have an ulterior motive in what they report, or they are too lazy to verify what is being given to them.  It’s likely a bit of both, but the former is rather frightening.  They are manipulating the general populace by creating hysteria through a skewed mass shooter narrative. This in turn will influence public opinion, and ultimately public policy.

Rally for our Rights founder, Lesley Hollywood, released a poll on her Facebook page in coordination with this article.  Lesley was curious what the general public thought had happened when they heard the term “mass shooting.” Out of  508 votes, nearly half of the individuals who participated thought a mass shooting was like what happened in Parkland, FL or Thousands Oaks, CA – not the definition being used by the Gun Violence Archive or many of the others.

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This manipulation of perception and public opinion will ultimately be used to conjure up reasons to demonize guns – portraying the objects as evil, with the means of using a lie to go after your ability and your right to keep your family safe and yourself safe.  It also misses the mark terribly at addressing WHY these tragic incidents are happening, and how we can prevent them without infringing on the rights of the law abiding.

*This article has been updated to include the Annapolis, MD incident on June 28, 2018.