The multiple murders at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida was absolutely preventable! Yet, the social organizations capable of preventing it, did not, could not, or would not, for whatever reasons, take action against a known potential danger because of the fear of social backlash from one group or another because it would interfere with their agendas.

The shooter, by all appearances a mentally disturbed young man, had a developing history of violence in school. He was even forbidden, individually, from bringing a backpack to school. Were school officials afraid he might put a weapon in his backpack? Probably! And then ultimately, because of his anti-social behavior, erratic behavior and explosive temper, he was kicked out of school to become somebody else’s problem. The school, and the school district then had no more interest in what became of this young man.

Red flags were everywhere. He was an orphan. Both his parents had died within the last two years or so and he ended up living with another group of young men his own age, unsupervised and by all accounts, collecting his wrath like a gathering storm until the hate that was festering so deep within his bosom was finally released on his former school mates.

Immediately, Democrats and gun grabbers fashioned this as a “gun violence” issue. Nonsense, It was a violence issue, by a recognized mentally unstable youth, with a gun who directed his hatred at the very school that kicked him out. His violence expended, he left in his wake a trail of more mental problems, shock, despair, disbelief, all the traits found in soldiers suffering the effects of “shell shock.”

This boy, Nikolas Cruz announced his intentions as far back as September 2017. He went on record as wanting to be a school shooter when he posted a YouTube video to that effect. The video, recorded by a Mississippi man was immediately passed on to the FBI with a screen shot, and it was short and alarming: “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.” Almost immediately, on 25 Sept., Mississippi law enforcement agents contacted the viewer to determine if he knew Nikolas Cruz or if the threat came from a Mississippi resident. He didn’t and It didn’t! That represents the first and only quick, positive effort by any agency to have thwarted Nikolas Cruz. Where was the ball dropped? Who dropped it and why. Those are the pending questions that must be answered before remedial actions can be put into effect.

So, what happened? The FBI, apparently alerted Mississippi, who responded, but then what? Did the FBI follow up? Was Cruz identified as a Florida resident? Was the Broward Co. Sheriffs Office alerted at any point? If so, did some staff Intelligence collector set the FBI’s report off to the side for later action?

“FBI agents did contact the Mississippi man again, after the shootings, to ask if he knew Cruz. He didn’t. Thats a clue to the failure of bureaucracy and trusting in an over worked government to be able to take quick effective action.

Raw intelligence, like the Mississippi man provided, is fungible. Expressions of violence posted on social media sites require emergency action. Federal agencies, like the FBI, are fixated on Islamic Terrorism, yet there are other sources of raw intelligence immediately available that would also have revealed Nikolas Cruz, his fellow students. Post shooting interviews of some students, who knew him, said they were not surprised at what he did.

Generally, children in high schools won’t talk voluntarily to the schools resource officer and report on their school mates, but many may actually post a “Secret Witness Note” in a box provided for that purpose. Even a “Secret Witness” social web site could be created for that purpose, but, whatever, these disturbed young people must be identified early and treated.

Laws must be effected that permits such offerings so long as they remain constitutional. But, nothing will assuage the heart-breaking questions the parents and families of those seventeen people killed by Nikolas Cruz can answer. The threat was there, the threat was known if not suspected and the ball was dropped. Red Flags were everywhere.

Remember, freedom is the goal, the Constitution is the way. Now, go get ‘em?

George G. McClellan, a California native, was a Regular Army veteran and served a tour in post war Korea. His post army professional career covered 43 years in law enforcement including the California Highway Patrol and the US Naval Investigative Service (NCIS), among others. With the latter, he became a world traveler visiting and working in many countries from the Philippine Islands to the United Kingdom, Asia, the Middle-East, Bosnia, all of Europe, Russia and India. He retired from the NIS at Naval Air Station, Atlanta, Ga. and has remained in the north Georgia area since 1990 as a co-owner of a Security Consulting company. He earned a Certified Protectional Professional (CPP) certification from the American Society for Industrial Security, as well as a Fraud Examiner certification (CFE). He has published a historical biography on a namesake, a member of the John Jacob Astor Fur Company who explored a route west, and back, after Lewis and Clark. Early American history, Celtic influence on America and conservative politics, remain his greatest interests. He is also a bagpiper since 1975. He and his wife since 1965 now resides in Gilmer County, Ga.