Stagg Online

Are we really heard?

CC Flickr Feb. 26, 2017 BY-NC

CC Flickr Feb. 26, 2017 BY-NC

When talking about prevention towards serious issues people tend to suggest to “report the signs.” Whether it’s suicide, homicide of any type of crime the default response to these incidents is to speak out and get help. My question is, when we do “report the signs” and “ask for help” are we really being heard?

After tragedy strikes law enforcement and government officials love to avoid the real issue at hand and find other things to blame for their mistakes.

17 people dead and 19 injured. While the NRA and our own government believes “guns don’t kill people do,” they still stand alongside their gun laws. Not wanting to create more gun control, they blame the victims for the Parkland shooting.

For the people who actually knew Nikolas Cruz, knew that he committing such a terrible event was no surprise.

Like many say “report the signs” people who knew him or of him, did. According to the Record in February a neighborhood kid reported to Broward County Sheriff’s Office that Cruz threatened to “shoot up the school” and attached a photo of an arsenal of firearms on Instagram. A deputy visited the neighborhood and gave the complaint to the resources officer at Stoneman Douglas, but no action was taken.

In September he was found cutting himself and trying to buy a gun. State-child welfare investigators simply swept the situation under the rug and blamed his behavior for the recent break-up he was going through with his girlfriend. They simply concluded that he was “no threat.”

On January 5, an anonymous person who claimed to be close to Cruz and his family called an FBI hotline to say Cruz may have been planning a school shooting.

“Something’s gonna happen,” the tipster told an intake specialist, adding later: “I just know I have a clear conscience if he takes off and just starts shooting places up.”

The FBI did nothing.

Those were just a few of the many instances that were reported. Every incident was soon forgot and concluded that Cruz was just a broken kid who had mental problems. Finding every “troubling” part of his life, adults continued to disregard the “signs.”

So I ask, do we continue to report these signs if we ultimately aren’t being taken seriously? What is the point of reaching out for help if help isn’t being given?

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Are we really heard?