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FBI Grilled by Congress over Mishandling of Parkland Shooter

by Countable | Updated on 3.14.18

What’s the story?

  • On the same day students stage a national walkout over gun violence, the Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on the FBI’s mishandling of tips about the alleged shooter behind the Parkland, Florida massacre.

  • FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich testified alongside the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Thomas Brandon, and the head of the National Threat Assessment Center, Lina Alathari.

  • Days after the February 14 mass shooting, the FBI apologized for failing to act on tips about Nikolas Cruz, the man charged with the mass shooting.

Why does it matter?

  • A month before the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the FBI received a tip about the accused gunman and his "desire to kill people"—but investigators failed to act on it.

  • And last September, the FBI was alerted to a YouTube post made by a "Nikolas Cruz" which read: "I’m going to be a professional school shooter."

  • Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) noted Cruz "didn't slip through one crack, he slipped through every crack."

  • Rubio continued: "This tragedy was the result of two things: the first is of a multi-systemic failure of government agencies at the federal, state and local levels. And second because of vulnerabilities in our existing laws that need to be addressed."

What is the FBI saying?

  • "We made mistakes here. No question about that," Bowdich told the committee. “That said even had we done everything right I’m not sure we could have stopped this act, but it would have been nice to try. It sure would have been nice for our investigator to sit down in front of Mr. Cruz and actually have that discussion.”

  • Bowdich explained to the committee that since the mistakes were uncovered, the FBI has instituted changes:

"We have taken certain immediate remedial measures, including doubling the number of special agent supervisors assigned to review tips received by non-agent personnel. Other steps will likely be taken up completion."

What do you think?

Rubio said the tragedy resulted from "a multi-systemic failure of government agencies at the federal, state and local levels"—what should change at those levels? Is the FBI doing enough to ensure tips don’t fall through the cracks? Should the head of FBI, as Florida Gov. Rick Scott has suggested, resign? Hit Take Action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman

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(Photo Credit: Coral Springs Talk / Wikimedia Commons)

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Written by Countable

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(52)
  • Andy1
    03/14/2018
    ···

    The FBI should have followed up on the tip they received, but the inaction on the part of congress in the past 19 years since The Columbine shooting is the root cause of this problem. One student dying should have been too many, but for 19 years congress has been paid to do nothing by the NRA while more and more children have died. They cannot completely wipe the blood from their hands on the FBI.

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  • Janet
    03/14/2018
    ···

    The mishandling lies with the members of Congress for failing to take action on enforcing and enacting sensible gun laws. They are beholden to the radical NRA. There have been far too many victims of gun violence. Until they man up, nothing will change.

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  • Derek
    03/14/2018
    ···

    I’d surrender every gun I’ve shot or owned in exchange for the life of any child killed by these massacres. I want this to stop and I support any legislation moving to keep guns out of disturbed hands. That being said, laws and legislation, rules and regulation only affect the law abiding. The insanity that commits these crimes does not and will not acknowledge any act or legislation enacted by ANY governing body. Tightening screening and making sure agencies tirelessly follow up and act on tips from the public is a start on curing this people problem. FBI,, do your job!!! It’s not the caliber of the gun, it’s the caliber of person behind the gun.

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  • John
    03/14/2018
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    Yes, the FBI and local police made mistakes before the Florida school shooting. And those need to be fixed ASAP. However, if it weren’t so serious it would be funny. Congress has done NOTHING to keep this from happening. For years. For money. If Congress isn’t willing to make background checks universal, ban bump-stocks, ban assault weapons, institute a 30 day waiting period to purchase a gun, raise the age of purchase to 30, raise the age to possess a gun to 25, ban large capacity clips/magazines, limit amounts and types of ammunition, lifetime ban domestic abusers and animal abusers then they should just admit the fact that lives mean less than their jobs and their wallets. And then we charge all of them as accessories to murder, try them and jail them and get some intelligent, caring people in office. Enough is enough!

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  • operaman
    03/14/2018
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    Grilled? I'll go with fried.

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  • Matthew
    03/14/2018
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    While yes the FBI should have done more DO NOT PLACE THE BLAME ON THEM!!! This is the fault of a gun loving country that loves guns over the lives of people!!!

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  • Nancy
    03/14/2018
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    The FBI is a large agency with departments that handle different cases. Yes, they did have tips and should have acted on them. The fact that there’s people who only emphasize “the right to bear arms shall not be infringed” part of the second amendment is a bigger problem. And the NRA is responsible for training the murderer plus emphasizing gun sales.

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  • SouthernGal
    03/15/2018
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    Okay, the FBI fucked this one up. What about the dozens of mass shootings that congress has only managed to give thoughts and prayers to, instead of fixing the damn problem which is that guns are just too easy to get a hold of in this country?

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  • Laura
    03/14/2018
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    Who is going to grill Congress? What a bunch of pompous hypocrites they are! The Parkland shooting very likely could not have occurred if there were meaningful gun regulations in this country like there are in other countries. If anyone is remiss it is our greedy guts Congress who have repeatedly shown they value campaign contributions over the safety of our children. It’s shameful. I say the best way to reprimand their bad behavior is to vote them all out at the first opportunity. #Midterms.

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  • Alex
    03/14/2018
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    More government is not the answer to government failures. The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

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  • ConservativeGuy
    03/15/2018
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    I really don’t understand why those in the MSM are not appalled that the FBI dropped the ball not once, but twice in regards to this shooter. I’m lying, I do understand. Those on the left NEED for Americans to believe that the FBI is beyond reproach. Otherwise the entire Russian witch hunt will evaporate. Isn’t it odd how the party that takes the side of criminals over law enforcement and illegal immigrants over immigration officers seems to hold this one agency in such high regard? Now you understand. You’re welcome.

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  • ManfromNebraska
    03/14/2018
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    There were many failures by government officials and local officials. Gun regulations were not a part of that. If one of those officials would have investigated and stepped in it may have been averted. Without someone armed on campus protecting students these things will continue. Not because of guns but because we have taken God and His Word out of schools. Moral character is based on God’s Word. These students are being used to promote political views not real answers to the problems.

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  • Lawrence
    03/14/2018
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    Congress preys on (prays for) scapegoats to avert confronting their NRA benefactors.

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  • JTJ
    03/14/2018
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    Conservatives believe responsibility resides with the individual. Liberals believe responsibility resides with everyone but the individual. Once again you libs blaming everyone except for the jerk who pulled the trigger.

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  • Leon
    03/14/2018
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    The FBI has much to answer for including past problems with the elections.

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  • DrRichSwier
    03/14/2018
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    Good. So who’s going to get fired for failure to act?

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  • Norm
    03/14/2018
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    Congress are the wimps for not making important gun laws, not the FBI. I am ashamed with these Trumpian Congressmen who split America in two.

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  • Rick
    03/14/2018
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    This is part of what is wrong with our country!!!! These people should be fired and held criminally responsible for their failure to act. Granted it is not the full problem!!! Immorality is the largest problem anymore. There is no respect for human life. No live for fellow mankind. Certainly no honoring of the 10 Commandments. We are the modern day Sodom & Gomorrah and will soon suffer the same fate if we do not wake up and repent and follow our Savior Jesus Christ.

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  • Tooluser1
    03/14/2018
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    To paraphrase the commenters here; "I'd give up every Right I have for the illusion of saftey, despite the abject failures of law enforcement at every level to enforce *existing* laws and their own protocols. Because *obviously* the answer to lawless behavior is 'more laws'. Not 'enforce the hundreds (literally) we already have' not 'secure school campuses' (because, well I don't know but because), not 'hold law enforcement accountable when they fail to act on tips, or when they cower outside while children die'. Nope. It's TOTALLY Congress' fault for not gutting our Constitutional Rights at the demand of some mewling cowards who long for tyranny.

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  • Cody
    03/14/2018
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    The FBI and the sheriff department didn’t do their jobs and the NRA has given them no money to the government agencies to be cowards in boward. The NRA and gun owners and our rights have nothing involved with the parkland shooting. I’m not surrendering my AR15s and my rights shall not be infringed by people who are blaming the wrong people for their own goals.

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