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Parkland (Episode 3)

Parkland (Episode 3)

On February 14, 19-year old Nikolas Cruz entered a classroom building at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, pulled the fire alarm, and in the resulting confusion he proceeded over the course of the next six minutes to shoot and kill 17 persons, which included 14 high school students ranging in ages from 14 to 18 years old, a geography teacher, an assistant football coach, and the school’s athletic director. In addition to the dead, 16 other people were wounded or injured in the attack. Cruz used a legally purchased AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle in the slaughter, and much has been written and said in the past few weeks about the shooting, about the multiple failures of school administrators, law enforcement, and others, to prevent the senseless loss of life despite the many, many warning signs that Nikolas Cruz was a tragedy waiting to happen. Much of the vitriol and finger-pointing coming out of the mainstream news media has been directed at the 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution, at law abiding Americans who own and use personal firearms responsibly, and at the National Rifle Association. The pain and anger over the Parkland shooting are completely understandable and completely appropriate. But is it really productive, or appropriate, to blame the 2nd Amendment and the NRA for what happened? We’re going to talk about it, here on the American Culture Podcast.