By Allen West
“See something, say something” – that’s what they tell us to do, but the question now becomes do they really want us to? And, when we do, they do really act upon it?
I want to take the time to articulate the real concern we should have in the aftermath of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that tragically claimed the lives of 17 Americans, and other wounded…not to mention the trauma that many may experience for years to come.
It now appears that all of this could have been prevented. We now know that just in January there were warning signs, and information provided to the FBI. This came after the tips from a gentleman after seeing very disconcerting social media posts by one Nikolas Cruz referencing shooting up schools. What’s even more concerning is that the progressive socialist left doesn’t EVER allow facts to materialize. Instead, they immediately rush to their preconceived talking points and judgement.
The legal possession of an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle by law-abiding citizens such as myself has nothing to do with what happened at Stoneman Douglas. And if we are to be adults, we need to analyze this episode, as well as others, and find trends enabling us to develop solutions to rectify this issue. However, it would seem some have no interest in conducting the meticulous mature analysis and assessments, as they prefer the insidious regurgitation of their assigned ideological rhetoric and talking points.
Besides better security for our schools, greater parental engagement and involvement, and dealing with mental illness, what I find most troubling about this shooting is why wasn’t it prevented? And this isn’t by any means a criticism of the FBI, but rather an assessment of very perplexing trends. Instances taken alone cause concern, but when aggregated cause major alarm.
Let’s consider some perplexing trends.
First, let’s look at the case of Nidal Hasan, an Islamic jihadist now serving life imprisonment in Ft. Leavenworth — where Bowe Bergdahl and Bradley Manning should be. Hasan was assigned as a psychologist at Walter Reed Army Hospital in DC. There had been several complaints about his radical proselytizing of our Soldiers who were there to receive counseling. This was known, as well, Hasan had associations with the radical Islamist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki — who by the way led prayers on Capitol Hill. Why was Nidal Hasan allowed to be transferred to Ft. Hood Texas? Why wasn’t he investigated, and subsequently separated from the U.S. Army…not to mention queried by our law enforcement agencies for his associations? Hasan referred to himself as a “soldier for Allah” and we know the rest of the story. Soldiers whom he was supposed to have been treated and coworkers say something, and said something, but their concerns were dismissed. As a result, 13 Americans lost their lives, and 31 Americans were wounded due to his actions. The issue was not gun control.
Omar Mateen had been referred to the FBI for investigation. He also resided in South Florida. There were no follow-ups and surveillance done on him. And the Islamic center he attended had some concerns as well. Mateen went under the radar and planned his nefarious action that targeted the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando…Fifty-plus Americans were killed, countless others wounded. Someone had seen something and said something, but there was no follow-up surveillance of said individual. The issue was not gun control.
Sayed Farouk and Tashfeen Malik carried out an Islamic jihadist attack at an office Christmas celebration in San Bernardino, California. California has some of the most restrictive gun laws in our Republic. But what’s more concerning is the fact that Tashfeen Malik entered the United States on something called a “fiancée visa.” Who knew, lo and behold, she provided false information on her entry application that was never checked or verified. Neighbors living near Farouk’s residence did see something, but due to our overly sensitive politically-correct fears of “Islamophobia,” those neighbors said nothing. Fourteen Americans were killed, and another 22 were wounded. The issue was not gun control.
Sutherland Springs, Texas on a quiet Sunday was rocked when an assailant made the evil decision to gun down churchgoers, to include children. The assailant had been dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force having been charged with domestic abuse. This information was not submitted to proper channels which would have precluded the attacker from ever being able to purchase firearms. You see, on the BATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms) Form 4473, firearms transaction record, there are two specific questions asked. One is whether you received a dishonorable discharge from the military. The other is whether you have been convicted of a domestic abuse charge. The assailant was guilty of both, and red flags would have flown right at that moment…but no one put that information in the system. Twenty-six Americans lost their lives that Sunday morning; it could have been more. Fortunately, an NRA-trained firearms instructor came on the scene to engage and fatally wound the assailant, who later died. The assailant was shot by a good guy with an AR-15. The issue was not gun control.
Two Islamic jihadists decided to depart Arizona and head to north Texas, the City of Garland, to attack a gathering of people. They were angered that a “draw Mohammed” art contest was being held, and came to the conclusion that freedom of speech and expression are not individual rights. These two men were known by the FBI and their communications were intercepted. The FBI was actually trailing the two jihadists from Arizona all the way to Texas. Yet, for some very strange reason, the FBI did not divulge this information, nor alert law enforcement agencies. Heroically, the two jihadists were engaged by Garland police officers, killing them both before they could conduct their Islamist terrorist attack…again, good guys with guns. The issue was not gun control.
Why is it that the liberal progressive media refuses to do the mature and responsible thing and assess these incidents for solutions? There are many cases all across America where potentially bad things are thwarted due to the ability of an individual to protect themselves with a firearm, especially women. Instead the immediate leap is to call folks cowards because the left wants guns confiscated, and anyone not agreeing is to be denigrated. Nikolas Cruz should have been under surveillance…not Carter Page. All the warning signs were there, and folks did see something and say something, but the ball was truly dropped by the FBI. If we had real objective journalists, maybe that’s where the line of questioning would be. Condemning all legal law-abiding gun owners, who happen to have an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle is the easy way out…just the ideological response.
The Sunday morning shows — and you know this will be a topic — need not ask why people are allowed to own an AR-15. The response of course is that the Constitution and the law says they can. The real question is why when people saw something, and said something, someone decided to do nothing?
And I still have many questions about what happened in Las Vegas…someone saw something.
Learn more about Allen West’s vision for this nation in his book Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom