- The Washington Times - Monday, February 26, 2018

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise said Monday the tragedy at a Florida high school shows several breakdowns at various levels of government.

“Federal, of course with the FBI completely dropping the ball months ago when they had this kid handed to them on a silver platter. At the local level, we’re finding out more and more distributing information about the local sheriff’s deputies,” Mr. Scalise, Louisiana Republican, said on Fox News.

The mass shooting on Feb. 14 in Parkland, Florida, brought the issue of gun violence back to the forefront of the debate. Seventeen people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School when the suspected gunman, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, opened fire using an AR-15.

Mr. Scalise was also a victim of gun violence last year when he was shot while practicing for the annual Congressional Baseball Game with other lawmakers. He said in his case, the armed security guards with him made a huge difference in preventing a tragedy.

“In my case, the fact that you had two armed police officers there who confronted the shooter immediately, saved not only my life, but all the other members of congress at that ball field,” Mr. Scalise said.

He said if the deputy who failed to enter the school had engaged the shooter, there might have been a different outcome. A security tape of the shooting showed an officer on scene at the school during the attack, but he did not go inside the building to confront the accused gunman.

Broward County law enforcement officials have taken a hit in recent days when it was revealed that over 20 phone calls were made about the suspected shooter in the Florida case warning of disturbing and violent behavior.

The FBI also received tips about Cruz, but were not passed on to the Miami field office to investigate.

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