Home > Uncategorized > My Letter to the Local Newspaper on FBI “Dropping the Ball” on Warning about FL Shooter… But What Could They Have Done?

My Letter to the Local Newspaper on FBI “Dropping the Ball” on Warning about FL Shooter… But What Could They Have Done?

February 17, 2018

I was dismayed to read a headline stating that FL Governor Scott called for the head of the FBI to step down over his agency’s failure to intervene when they were alerted to a YouTube post by the individual who ultimately shot and killed 17 people… especially given Governor Scott’s blind support for “gun owner rights”.

Here’s some questions I have for those criticizing the FBI’s failure to intervene when they were alerted to the “disturbing” YouTube post:

=>Should the FBI be able to confiscate the weapons of anyone who makes “disturbing” posts? If not, would the FBI be culpable if the individual who owned those weapons later used them to shoot someone?

=> Should the FBI have the power to mandate mental health services if they determine someone who possesses weapons might use them to harm people?

=> Should the FBI investigate ALL “disturbing” posts on social media brought to their attention by citizens?

=> Should YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, or any social media site be able to take down a “disturbing” post? If so, what standard will they use?

=> Should YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, or any social media site be required to report a “disturbing” post to law enforcement officials? If so, what standard will they use and what, if anything, will the law enforcement agency be empowered to do?

If we want to solve the problem of school shootings, we would be better off doing so prospectively. We could begin by providing mental health intervention to troubled students when they are enrolled in school and by offering parents the support they need when their children are struggling emotionally as well as academically. But instead of giving teachers and parents the support they need to help troubled students, we are training teachers to be first responders when those same troubled students get the automatic weapons they are free to purchase in the marketplace and leaving parents with nowhere to turn.

As a nation we are expected to spend over $1.1 BILLION dollars on physical security in schools. Instead of spending our money on surveillance cameras, SROs, and upgraded door locks we might consider investing in the social services our students need to succeed in school. And instead of expanding the mission of the FBI to examining social media posts and confiscating weapons, we might provide the schools with the resources they need to meet the needs of all students.

 

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