Rabat – Amidst heavy criticisms targeting Trump’s stance on gun control, the President, in a recent tweet following a high school shooting that claimed 17 lives, has blamed the FBI for not properly following up on warnings regarding Nikolas Cruz’s deviant and violence-prone behavior, therefore leading to the Wednesday school shooting.
Trump has linked the Federal Bureau’s “unforgivable” missteps to Russia investigation, saying that FBI failed to properly follow up on leads regarding the Florida shooter’s intentions because the bureau was allegedly too busy trying to prove a Russian collusion that the President says does not exist.
“Very sad that the FBI missed all the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They’re spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign—there is no collusion,” Trump tweeted, adding that the FBI should “get back to basics and make us all proud.”
On Saturday this week a massive rally in Florida marked the attendance of survivors of the Florida school shooting, together with parents and numerous local politicians. The furious crowd, visibly angered by the death toll—the Florida shooting is the deadliest U.S school shooting since 2012—as well as the president’s stance on gun restrictions, chanted “shame on you” as they attacked politicians and law makers said to have links with the NRA (National Rifle Association), the country’s most powerful lobby that supports lax laws on gun control and advocates for gun rights.
The crowd, singling Trump out as one of the politicians receiving huge financial support from the NRA, called for tougher restrictions on guns, with Emma Gonzalez, a senior at Florida high school, telling the press that gun control is a “matter of life and death”, and “not a political question.”
And although Trump’s FBI criticism may easily be said to be aimed at undermining the heavy criticism targeting the president’s Russia and NRA linkages, there seems to be, this time, legitimate grounds to Trump’s scathing FBI statements.
The Bureau has recently admitted to have not taken appropriate actions that could have prevented the Florida shooting, saying that they had not properly followed up about Nikolas Cruz when one of his relatives contacted the Bureau on January 5 to inform about his “gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting.”
But the January 5 call was but a tip of the ice berg in the long series of warnings that both the Federal Bureau and the local police received from numerous sources regarding Cruz’s deviant behavior as well as his inclination to violence and self-harm. According to CNN, Cruz’s stepmother, who died last year, used to the call local police on a regular basis to complain about Cruz’s “threats, self-harming, and violence-prone behaviors.” An unidentified informant is also said to have contacted authorities regarding inappropriate comments and YouTube videos attributed to Nikolas Cruz.