When the White House decided to mark the fifth anniversary of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting with a video of President Joe Biden making yet another demand for more gun control, it was aiming to capitalize on the pain of families for its own ends.
But the father of one of the girls who died in the Feb. 14, 2018, mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School wasn’t going to let the political opportunism pass.
And in a scathing Twitter post responding to Biden’s statement, Ryan Petty didn’t hold back.
“Don’t use my daughter’s death to advance your political agenda,” Petty wrote, the words virtually dripping with scorn.
“Because of your politicized FBI, failed Obama era school discipline policies and a Sheriff that cared more about his image in the community than enforcing the law, a maniac was allowed to attack a school. Try learning what really happened.”
Don’t use my daughter’s death to advance your political agenda. Because of your politicized FBI, failed Obama era school discipline policies and a Sheriff that cared more about his image in the community than enforcing the law, a maniac was allowed to attack a school. Try… https://t.co/XdbTgnDNmI
— Ryan Petty (@rpetty) February 14, 2023
It’s become almost a tradition for Biden to use the Parkland killings to push his agenda — and for Petty to hit back. But if Democrats want to keep going to this well, they’re going to keep choking on the facts.
The failings that surrounded the Parkland shooting that killed 14 students and three school staffers are numerous and well-documented.
The gunman, student Nikolas Cruz, could have and should have been enrolled in an alternative high school for special needs students long before the shooting, but was not.
The Broward County School District’s policies for student discipline, stemming from recommendations by the Barack Obama White House, put an emphasis on avoiding involving law enforcement for criminal behavior to avoid the “school-to-prison pipeline.”
It was an approach Scott Israel, the sheriff of Broward County at the time of the Parkland shooting, had actually bragged about during his re-election campaign in 2016.
And it was an approach that helped Cruz stay in the school despite behavior problems, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, though the Broward School District initially denied it.
Even warnings that had gone to the FBI — and could have potentially averted the shooting — were ignored by the bureau. The Justice Department didn’t admit fault, as the New York Post reported last year, it just agreed to pay $127.5 million to the families of victims. (To normal people, that sounds like 127 million admissions of fault, but normal people aren’t Justice Department lawyers.)
And the response of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office on the day of the shooting was a disaster, marked by cowardice displayed by the deputy assigned to the campus and delays by more deputies in confronting the killer.
For sane Americans, this looks like an argument that the Broward School District is run by politically correct administrators more interested in statistics that make their schools look good than in actual student safety.
It looks like more evidence that where the FBI isn’t corrupted by politics, it’s incompetent.
It looks like the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, at least under its then-sheriff, was a failure of a law enforcement organization.
But for Democrats, conclusions like that are too obvious. The lesson from Parkland they want the American people to come away with is the need to continue to violate the rights of Americans guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
Ryan Petty wasn’t buying it. And he had plenty of social media support:
I’m so sorry this man is doing this to your little girl and your family. There are no words. How bad your family must miss her with every waking breath. I will pray God continues to be your guiding light and beacon of hope for every second of sorrow.
— gypsy_love (@gypsy_lovell) February 15, 2023
I’m sorry he is using her death that way, to insist on an ‘assault weapons’ ban yet again.
— Rebecca Downs (@RebeccaRoseGold) February 15, 2023
Thank you for standing up for what is right. I am terribly sorry for your loss.
— Marc Coppola (@tbfan55) February 15, 2023
I wish these vulnerable children were actually protected. The deputy that was on scene (that was somehow special enough to be able to carry while other adults were not) was unfortunately a coward.
— Glass Half Wrong (@GlassHalfWrong) February 15, 2023
Of course, there were more than a few liberals who apparently felt compelled to jump on Petty’s Twitter thread to lecture him about how gun control is what’s really important.
There are always going to be leftists obsessed with the idea that violating the right to keep and bear arms will guarantee Americans safety from “gun violence” — though the statistics around “gun free zones” and the blood-stained streets of Democrat-run cities prove that’s absurd.
But to Democrats, any incident of violence is just another reason to push gun control. To Biden, even the anniversary of a tragic incident of violence is just an opportunity to score political points.
Logic, the Constitution, even basic fairness and morality don’t concern them nearly as much as the drive for power over their fellow citizens.
Fortunately for the sane part of the country, people like Ryan Petty are there to fight back.