On February 14th, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In the weeks after the shooting, information about the shooter began to surface, with his former classmates describing his behavior as disturbing and worrisome. Despite the red flags, Cruz was able to purchase guns legally, and recent reports reveal that his mother, Lynda Cruz, allowed him to have firearms — despite the fact that mental health counselors advised against it.
And this is exactly why we need common sense gun laws.
On July 10th, BuzzFeed News reported that counselors had warned Lynda Cruz against letting her son purchase guns, but she ignored their advice. In a meeting with the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said that the shooter’s mother had interfered with attempts to address his behavioral problems.
The AP reports that Gualtieri claimed Lynda Cruz told her son’s counselors, “If he wants to have a gun, he could have a gun.”
While it’s tempting to place blame on Cruz’s mother in light of this new information, and while it even may be accurate to call her an “enabler,” we should never forget the fact that we currently live in a country where a person with a history of mental illness and violent tendencies can legally purchase a gun, and that is why we need common sense gun laws.
It’s heartbreaking to know a tragedy of this magnitude was preventable, and it’s all the more reason to fight for practical gun control.