COMMENTARY: NRA shouldn’t be a scapegoat for Florida tragedy

“Scapegoat – A person or group bearing the blame for others”. — New Collegiate Edition of the American Heritage Dictionary.

The horrible, unspeakable tragedy in Parkland, Florida was a terrible thing — no doubt about it. Seventeen senseless and avoidable deaths at the hands of a known sociopath — terrible, horrible and apparently preventable. We all grieve for the victims, pray for their families, and thank God it didn’t happen here.

As we grieve and search for answers, the “blame game” begins and there is plenty of blame to go around. But you, the law-abiding gun owner, are not to blame, and neither is the NRA.

Sigler, John by .

John C. Sigler

You should never accept the blame for those who should themselves bear that blame. Don’t allow yourself to become a “scapegoat” for the failings of others. Don’t allow those who are truly responsible for those 17 deaths to blame you, your guns, or your NRA — don’t do it!

Let those who could have prevented this horrible act to fess up and tell the truth. Let them accept the blame they so richly deserve.

Think about it:

Neither you as a law-abiding gun owner, nor the NRA are responsible for the family members and friends who failed to tell others of this sociopath’s mental state and did nothing to get him into the mental health or juvenile justice systems;

Neither you nor the NRA are responsible for the school officials and counselors who knew the danger this sociopath presented to those children but did nothing meaningful to about it;

Neither you nor the NRA are responsible for the numerous local law enforcement officers who failed to act despite dozens of opportunities to remove this individual from society through arrest or mental health commitment;

Neither you nor the NRA are responsible for school counselors who should have identified this individual and gotten him out of the school and into the mental health system;

Neither you nor the NRA are responsible for the gross incompetence of the FBI that on at least two occasions could have identified and removed this sociopath from society, or at least alerted local officials;

Neither you nor the NRA are responsible for the cowardice of at least one sheriff’s deputy who refused to respond to the gunfire and who could have, and should have, saved at least a few lives; and

Neither you nor the NRA had anything to do with that sociopathic adult entering that school and pulling the trigger on those poor, innocent, and helpless children.

Why was this sociopathic monster never arrested, despite numerous criminal acts that should have been prosecuted, but weren’t?

Why was he not committed to a mental institution, despite numerous opportunities to do so?

Why did the Broward County School District allow this adult back on school property even after he had been expelled as posing a danger to others?

The students knew this monster was dangerous. Why didn’t the school resource officers bar him from the school?

Why was this obviously dangerous adult sociopath not listed as a “person prohibited” and allowed to buy a rifle after a NICS check, you ask? Because no one in a position to prevent this horrible tragedy acted responsibly — no one.

No one caused him to be arrested for his past violent acts or committed for mental health evaluation and treatment. Had they done so, he would have been listed as a prohibited person and the NICS check would have prevented him from buying that rifle.

Don’t be a “scapegoat” — don’t accept the blame for something you didn’t do — place the blame where it belongs:

Blame those who did nothing: Blame the cops, the FBI, the school administrators, the sheriff, the cowardly cop who hid behind a post and did nothing — blame the teachers, counselors, friends and neighbors who did nothing. But don’t blame yourself, and don’t allow the haters and cynical politicians to blame you or the NRA.

And while you are at it, you might want to blame those who are more interested in blaming you than they are in addressing the real issues — issues like a broken mental health system, lax law enforcement policies, unworkable education policies, “soft-target” schools, and a permissive liberal mindsets that set the stage for and allow such tragedies to occur.

And don’t forget to place ultimate blame where it belongs — directly on the shoulders of this adult, hate-filled sociopath who should never been allowed on school grounds and should have been locked away in a jail or a mental institution. He is to blame, not you, not me, and not the NRA.

Don’t be a scapegoat. Don’t allow your friends, co-workers, the press, or your elected officials make you into one — because they will, if you let them.

Don’t be afraid. Stand up for yourself, tell the truth, and put the blame where it really belongs.

EDITOR’S NOTE: John C. Sigler is a Dover lawyer and a past president of the National Rifle Association of America.

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