Tag Archives: Parkland massacre

Parkland deputy faces serious neglect charge

There have been so many spasms of gun violence erupting with such regularity, one occasionally loses sight of prior incidents that shock a nation.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in Parkland, Fla., is one event I admit has gotten past me.

Until this week!

A former sheriff’s deputy who was on duty when the madman opened fire at the high school now faces 11 felony charges of child neglect. What’s the basis for the accusation? Scot Peterson did not enter the high school building when shots began echoing through the halls. He waited outside. He didn’t confront the shooter.

Peterson was assigned to the high school as a “resource officer” by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. He’s not the first law enforcement officer to be punished. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who was elected this past November, replaced Sheriff Scott Israel over his handling of the massacre.

Now there are criminal charges pending against the deputy who was on the scene.

The Parkland tragedy that left 17 victims dead has spurred a vigorous debate in Florida and across the nation over how to stem the gun violence that seems to erupt with far too much regularity. Many of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas students have become celebrities as they have become outspoken advocates for stricter gun regulations.

Now comes this attempt at holding someone accountable for the tragedy that broke the nation’s heart.

Peterson has said he acted properly to the tragedy that exploded 16 months ago. That now remains to be seen in court, presuming this case goes to trial.

I just am struck by all the tributes that pour forth when these events occur. They are directed at the first responders, some of whom have sacrificed their lives while ensuring the safety of other victims. We praise these men and women without reservation.

Scot Peterson, according to the video many of us have seen, hunkered down away from the danger. My gut tells me he has earned the scorn of a community he swore to protect — and of the nation that had its heart broken by yet another act of senseless violence.

Tough talk betrays history of, um, non-toughness

I just cannot get past Donald Trump’s history as I listen to his tough-talk in the moment.

The president told Breitbart News that the military is on his side, as are the police, and — of course! — the “Bikers for Trump.” He said they don’t usually play tough, but they might if things don’t go their way — and favorably for the president.

Then it would get “very bad, very bad,” he said.

Do you remember the president’s reaction to the massacre at Parkland, Fla., when a gunman opened fire, killing several high school students and teachers? He criticized the deputy sheriff on duty at the campus who reportedly waited outside while all hell was breaking loose. Then the president said he would have gone in with guns-a-blazin’.

Imagine that, will ya?

This is the same fellow who when he was much younger had the chance to take up arms against our nation’s enemies in Vietnam, but then developed a case of bone spurs. A doctor issued him permission to obtain several medical deferments that kept him far away from the Vietnam War.

Oh, and then we heard just recently from his former lawyer/fixer/confidant Michael Cohen, who said Trump once told him, “Do you think I’m stupid? I wasn’t going to Vietnam.” Those of us who did go to ‘Nam when the guns were shooting and the bombs were falling well could have taken offense at the “stupid” remark.

Donald Trump’s toughness, I will venture to say, is a figment of his own narcissism.