BY ALLEN WEST
We’re taught a simple lesson in the U.S. military: “move to the sound of the guns.” That means we go towards where the action, the threat, the attack is happening. Sadly, we now know what happened with the one School Resource Officer charged to serve and protect 3,000 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Yesterday I wrote a piece about how the progressive socialist left has lost the debate on this incident. I now reiterate that assertion.
This isn’t about the age of Nikolas Cruz, nor the weapon he chose for his evil act. This is now about a systemic failure at all levels of law enforcement, the government that is responsible for protecting us. The FBI failed as they did not follow up on the tips and warnings provided. The local law enforcement failed as there were some 39 calls for domestic disturbance and other issues to include threats. We’ve confirmed that the assigned School Resource Officer, who is armed, did nothing for some four minutes. Those of us who’ve been in a firefight know that within 3 to 5 seconds, folks start losing their lives if you don’t have the initiative. And the Broward County School District failed because they did not report the aberrant behavior of Cruz. There were so many indicators and warnings of criminal behavior, intent, and mental instability…and no one did anything.
And somehow this is my fault as a law-abiding, legal gun owner and member of the National Rifle Association? Again, this is why the left has lost this debate. As always, they rushed to their ideological agenda and did not assess the facts. Let’s see if their anger and angst will be turned towards the cacophony of failures listed above. Yes, I know, ain’t happening. Of course the retort will be, if a “trained” and armed law enforcement officer refused to take action, then why would anyone believe that a teacher or coach would? Well, those high school JROTC instructors were raised to “move to the sound of the guns.” And think about the football coach who took action, even the young highs school JROTC cadets who took action.
Some of us are inherently guard dogs, many are just sheep, and there are plenty of wolves, rabid ones included. Being a guard dog is not contingent upon having a weapon or any instrument. It’s a sense of character, heart, will, and determination. It’s what turns a common person, an ordinary citizen, into someone who will display uncommon virtue enabling them to do the extraordinary.
In the case of Nikolas Cruz, there were those charged to protect who did not go above and beyond. They failed and displayed the worst of behavior. Courage and selfless service, sacrifice, commitment to others — those are the values of the guardians of the Republic. There were no guardians for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School…that is the essence of this debate.
But, just to remind y’all, here are four stories of guardians, armed Americans, that the mainstream liberal progressive media will never tell you. These stories are always in my NRA America’s First Freedom magazine under the title “The Armed Citizen” — page 28 in the March 2018 issue.
– “Even something as simple as walking a dog can put a person in harm’s way, but a Michigan woman was able to withstand a recent threat because she was carrying. While the woman was taking her dog for a walk, a stranger came up from behind and grabbed her. The armed citizen responded by pressing her handgun against the alleged assailant’s gut. The pet owner had been in a heightened state of awareness because she had earlier noticed a black van with no windows idling on the side of the street ahead of her, She then caught sight of a man getting out of the vehicle and strolling parallel to her as she walked her dog. The uneasiness of the situation prompted her to grip her gun while it was still in her jacket pocket. When the man took hold of her coat, she drew the gun, and pushed it into his stomach area and reportedly said, “I don’t want to kill you”. The thug scurried off.” (Fox32Chicago.com, Chicago Illinois, 12/7/2017).
Yes, I agree she should have shot the assailant, one clear way to get this threat off the street.
– “Georgia authorities named a 68-year-old business owner an honorary deputy for his heroism during an armed robbery. The businessman was closing his shop for the day when two young thieves burst through the door. They demanded his money, then one struck him in the face for good measure. Although the store owner was dazed, he grabbed a shotgun and fired, striking both suspects. Both teens were hospitalized and have since been taken into custody and charged in connection with the robbery. The Burke County Sheriff’s Office later recognized the victim, presenting him with the honorary deputy title and badge.” (WRDW.com Augusta Georgia 12/15/2017).
The businessman decided to not be a victim, but rather a victor, and defend his life and his livelihood.
– “One suspect is dead and at least one other was on the loose after a Christmas Eve home invasion in North Carolina. The dead man, identified as a gang member with a felony record, and a cohort broke into the home of an armed citizen. A gunfight resulted when the resident made a stand to defend himself and his property.” (WNCN.com, Wilmington NC, 12/27/2017)
This is a rhetorical question, but what was a gang member with a felony record doing free?
– “When someone says the justice system is enough to protect you, point to this Kentucky incident as evidence that a protective order somethings isn’t enough. Just weeks after his arrest led to the issuance of an order to stay away from his ex-wife, the man tried to break into her home. After the miscreant broke the glass on the front door and started fiddling with the lock, his ex-wife yelled through the door to stop or the boyfriend would shoot. The ex-husband paid the threat no mind, and was fatally shot. Police are investigating, but no charges have been filed in what appeared to be an act of self-defense.” (WKYT.com, Cynthiana, Kentucky 1/18/2017)
A protective order is just a piece of paper, it is not a deterrent for someone with an intent to do evil, harm.
And lastly, the Washington Free Beacon named Stephen Willeford its “2017 Man of the Year.” Don’t know that name? You should, Stephen Willeford was the armed citizen who ended the mass shooting, murderous rampage in Sutherland Springs, Texas at the First Baptist Church. Willeford is an NRA member and a former NRA-certified firearms instructor. He used an AR-15 to take down the assailant, a dishonorably discharged former member of the US Air Force who had a domestic abuse charge — the Air Force and Federal authorities did not list him in the database.
Stephen Willeford, an armed American citizen, a guard dog, just like these other examples, are the strength of our Republic. They’re the ones who “move to the sound of the guns” and do not cower, like sheep, and we believe that our personal safety is our personal responsibility. And sadly, that is the true lesson of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. Safety, even outsourced to local law enforcement and government, can fail.
Editor’s Note: This column previously appeared at AllenBWest.com. Used with the permission of the author.
Lt. Col. Allen B. West is the former U.S. Congressman representing Florida’s 22nd District, a Fox News Contributor, a contributing columnist for Townhall.com, the former Executive Director of the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas Texas, and the author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom. Col. West is the third of four generations of military servicemen in his family. During his 22 year career in the United States Army, he was awarded the Bronze Star, 3 Meritorious Service Medals, 3 Army Commendation Medals (1 with Valor device), and a Valorous Unit Award. In 1993 he was named the US Army ROTC Instructor of the Year. Col. West believes it will be principled constitutional conservative policies, not politics, which will secure a sound economic future for Americans.