For the anti-gun wing of America, yesterday was one of action. Scores of students from across the country walked out to demand their elected representatives do more to secure schools, specifically by pushing new gun control legislation. This spike in activism is due to the recent and tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen people were shot and killed by Nikolas Cruz. The Sunshine State has already passed a law allowing school districts to permit school employees to carry concealed firearms, establish a tip line to report possible threats, more programs for mental health, and raised the age limit to buy long guns to 21. The latter part of the law is grossly unconstitutional and the National Rifle Association has rightfully filed a lawsuit against it. Regardless, legislation has been passed as a direct result of student activism, though a lot of it is funded and coordinated by the professional Left. In D.C., a school safety bill overwhelmingly passed.
These walkouts were supposed to be a peaceful event, meant to put more pressure on the political class to do more on gun control. In Tennessee, however, a protest by students was marred by them tearing down the American flag, jumping on a police vehicle, and briefly creating an atmosphere of chaos, according to the Lexington Herald Leader. The publication added that blessedly no one was injured, and that security quickly brought order to the situation:
Around the country, thousands upon thousands of students walked out of their classrooms on March 14 to peacefully protest inaction on gun laws in the aftermath of the deadly Florida school shooting last month.
And then there was Antioch High School near Nashville, Tenn.
Some of the students who walked out of class at the school Wednesday pulled down an American flag hanging from a flagpole, video shows.
Some students jumped on a police car, Nashville police told News Channel 5.
A spokesperson for Metro Nashville Public Schools told Fox 17 in a statement that no students were injured at Antioch High School, and that security swiftly controlled the situation.
We have to be fair here. The vast majority of the student walkouts yesterday were peaceful. Still, it seems that Parkland’s tragedy could have been avoided not because of lax gun laws, but because the local, state, and federal officials totally dropped the ball on acting on the red flags presented to them by Cruz. The state kicked the can down the road on what to do with him, not even acting on reports that he was cutting himself in 2016. That alone could have warranted commitment at a state facility for a mental evaluation via the Baker Act. That would have shown up on a background check, preventing him from buying firearms, specifically the AR-15 he used in the shooting. He bought that rifle days after he was expelled from Stoneman Douglas in February of 2017. The FBI received a tip about Cruz on January 5. They did nothing, not even forwarding this information to their Miami office. Local law enforcement also had to have known this kid was trouble, being called to his home over 30 times. If anything, it paints a case that the system is fine, it’s just that pervasive incompetence failed to protect the public.