One of the provisions of the new Florida law is raise the age to buy a firearm of any kind to 21. This will deny 18, 19, and 20 years olds the ability to defend themselves and their families with a gun of any kind in their homes. In 2015, Malichi Heisler shot and killed a masked gunman who forced his way into his mother’s home and who reportedly was holding a gun to his mother’s head. The Florida Senate will deny people in Heisler’s situation the ability to defend themselves with a firearm.
The actions of the Florida Senate should not be an act of attrition, trading the potential safety of one group of innocent Citizens for another. This provision is an act of appeasement that doesn’t correct the failure of government agencies to do their job which would have prevented the MSD HS massacre by Cruz.
The premise on raising the age to purchase is that Cruz would not have been able to purchase a gun until he was 21. Again this is not addressing his behavioral problems that have been exposed to have existed before he bought a gun. He should have already been on the prohibited persons list in the NCIS because of his actions prior to his 18th birthday. The “Risk Protection Orders” provisions may prevent some future potential shooter from obtaining a firearm.
The enactment and pursuit of progressive intervention disciplinary programs, which may be yielding results for many targeted school children, allowed Cruz to continue his journey to become a school shooter. Robert Runcie the Superintendent for Broward County Schools stated in a February 20 story in the Miami Herald: “Based on what’s reported in the media, here’s a kid who’s lost both parents, he’s obviously got some mental health challenges. Let me just say if we provided every service that we could and did all that in exemplary fashion, if he can still get access to guns what’s the point of all this?”
The point is exactly that a person with Cruz’s history should not be in a position to purchase a gun when he turns 18, or 21 for that matter. The documented behavioral problems he has displayed since middle school should have made him a prohibited person and been reported to the NCIS. But the push for “equal outcomes” prevents law enforcement from making arrests because they have been instructed to avoid criminalizing behavior some groups but not others.
It is disturbing to me that hundreds of thousands of people can be mobilized to demonstrate against an industry that enables Citizens to overcome disparity of force scenarios to preserve their own lives and the lives of others. But there is no similar protest against the governmental agencies that failed their responsibilities and directly lead to the MSD HS shootings.