Friday, March 2, 2018

Curiouser and Curiouser: More on the Parkland Shooting

Just a brief recap of what we already know about the shooting:
  • The School District overlooked violence and disciplinary problems with De Jesus Cruz for years because of a program it had to reduce the number of blacks and Hispanics being referred to law enforcement. 
  • The Broward County Sheriff's Office (BSO) was called out dozens of times over a period of a few years to deal with Cruz and his threats and violence at home, and tips or concerns that Cruz wanted to be a school shooter were apparently communicated.
  • Social workers investigated Cruz. Deputy Peterson failed to cooperate in at least one investigation.
  • The FBI was given two tips to videos by Cruz where he threatened to shoot up a school, both tips of which were never investigated.
  • On the day of the shooting, Cruz entered the school with a gun case without being stopped or questioned. He warned at least one student that something bad was going to happen.
  • When Cruz began shooting, Peterson was alerted that something (firecrackers) was going on in the building where the shooting was occurring, and had been directed to the building by a security officer based on the belief that Cruz was there, probably as a shooter. Peterson and Security Specialist Greenleaf deployed to that building, but, according to Peterson, he believed that the shooting was coming from somewhere outside, rather than inside the building. In any event, Peterson took up a safe position outside the building rather than entering. 
  • Three other BSO deputies arrived and were instructed to take up position outside the building rather than enter and engage the shooter.
  • Coral Springs Police Officers arrived at the scene and immediately entered the building to engage the shooter, but Cruz had already finished and left the building.
  • BSO refused to allow paramedics to enter the building.
  • The security monitor feed in the building was set on a 20-minute delay, but police did not know.
Okay. That was a bit longer than I expected. So, now on to the new items:
        The gunman used only 10-round magazines.
            The Parkland shooter did not use magazines larger than 10 rounds, but gun-reform lobbyists are calling on lawmakers to ban higher-capacity magazines after the Valentine’s Day tragedy.
              The 19-year-old school shooter who killed 17 in Florida on Valentine’s Day had 150 rounds of ammunition in 10-round magazines. Larger ones would not fit in his bag, Fla. state senator Lauren Book revealed.
      • The Astro-Turfing of the Student "Activists": Well, we already knew that the mother who has organized the national student walk-out had been a CNN producer for 17 years and got the ball rolling through her numerous contacts and Facebook friends, but this article explains a lot more: "Why Did It Take Two Weeks To Discover Parkland Students’ Astroturfing?"--The Federalist. The MSM has been praising these kids on their remarkable ability to motivate others. But:
                On February 28, BuzzFeed came out with the actual story: Rep. Debbie Wassermann Schultz aiding in the lobbying in Tallahassee, a teacher’s union organizing the buses that got the kids there, Michael Bloomberg’s groups and the Women’s March working on the upcoming March For Our Lives, doing social media promotion and (potentially) march logistics, and training for student activists provided by federally funded Planned Parenthood.
                  The president of the American Federation of Teachers told BuzzFeed they’re also behind the national school walkout, which journalists had previously assured the public was the sole work of a teenager. (I’d thought teachers were supposed to get kids into school, but maybe that’s just me.)
                    In other words, the response was professionalized. That’s not surprising, because this is what organization that gets results actually looks like. It’s not a bunch of magical kids in somebody’s living room. Nor is it surprising that the professionalization happened right off the bat. Broward County’s teacher’s union is militant, and Rep. Ted Lieu stated on Twitter that his family knows Parkland student activist David Hogg’s family, so there were plenty of opportunities for grown-ups with resources and skills to connect the kids.

              * * * 

                          That’s before you get to whether any of them had been involved in the Women’s March. According to BuzzFeed, Wassermann Schultz was running on day two.
                          What’s striking about all this isn’t the organization. If you start reading books about organizing, it’s clear how it all works. But no journalist covering the story wrote about this stuff for two weeks. Instead, every story was about the Parkland kids being magically effective.
                           On Twitter, I lost track of the number of bluechecks rhapsodizing over how effective the kids’ organizational instincts were. But organizing isn’t instinctive. It’s skilled work; you have to learn how to do it, and it takes really a lot of people. You don’t just get a few magical kids who’re amazing and naturally good at it.
                             The real tip-off should have been the $500,000 donations from Winfrey and Clooney. Big celebrities don’t give huge money to strangers on a whim. Somebody who knows Winfrey and Clooney called them and asked. But the press’s response was to be ever more impressed with the kids.
                        Read the whole thing.

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