- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 25, 2018

The National Rifle Association on Sunday morning said the “headline” in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting is the failure of the FBI and local law enforcement to do something about alleged gunman Nikolas Cruz before he carried out his massacre.

Speaking on ABC’s “This Week” program, NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch said the focus on guns — including proposals to ban assault weapons, raise the minimum age to buy a gun, and a host of other steps floated as potential solutions over the past 10 days — is misguided.

“Can we actually look at what could have prevented this? That firearm did not walk itself into the school, an individual who was allowed to go unchecked by the Broward County Sheriff’s office allowed that firearm to go in this school,” Ms. Loesch said. “I’m not a member of the FBI, I’m not a member of law enforcement, but I’m going to tell you if someone is online, using their name, saying they’re going to shoot up a school, if they’re banned from school because they’ve taken bullets and knives in their backpack to school, if they’ve been sending messages saying that they’re going to shoot and kill their classmates, that, to me, sounds like a potential school shooter.”

“Family and neighbors called the Broward County Sheriff’s office to report this individual and they did not follow up. That is the headline,” she continued.

The FBI and local law enforcement in Florida have come under intense scrutiny for failing to act on tips that Cruz seemed to be intent on carrying out a shooting spree at the high school, where 17 people were shot and killed. The incident has reignited a debate over gun control on Capitol Hill and in states such as Florida, where Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, has proposed a multi-pronged plan to address guns and mental health.

The NRA and President Trump have suggested that one answer could be allowing some teachers to carry guns in schools.

“I think that if a school and if parents and teachers voluntarily choose to be armed, I think that’s something that schools are going to have to come up with and determine for themselves,” Ms. Loesch said.

• Ben Wolfgang can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

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