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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Florida shooting shows not to rely on the FBI

People are asking why didn't the FBI follow up on the tips about the gunman who went on to kill 17 people at a high school in Florida?

That's the wrong question.

We should ask: why didn't the tipsters report their suspicions to the local police or sheriff's office?

(See also, CNBC: "Pressure mounts on FBI director to resign as Florida community reels.")

Don't get me wrong. The FBI screwed up.

But after the review and congressional hearings, the politicians will scapegoat the director -- and decide the FBI needs more manpower.

Thus, Congress will reward failure, and we will wind up with more failure.

The solution is to not expand the federal police but rather to have the FBI defer to local law enforcement. The local police know the territory better and are answerable to the people. The FBI should be involved only in cases where only the federal police can do the job -- or when asked.

To be sure, there is police corruption in some departments.

But that can be taken care of.

Taking care of the corruption at the FBI under Barack Obama is very difficult, and it may never be done.

I am not blaming Obama for the Florida slaughter.

I blame relying on the FBI to do what the local sheriff or police should do.

Here is my solution: the FBI turns the tips over to local law enforcement.


From Leslie Eastman's review at Legal Insurrection:
Surber, a recovering journalist with over 30 years of experience, has been cataloging the #FakeNews that has been regularly offered as serious analysis of President Donald Trump’s actions, policies, and opinions. He has brought his enormous collection together in the longest, most serious book he has yet written: Fake News Follies 2017.
"Fake News Follies of 2017" is available on Kindle and in paperback.

Autographed copies are available. Email me at for details. I am including a "director's cut." I'll email you back the original Chapter 1 that I cut because while the chapter was amusing, it really had nothing to do with the "Fake News Follies of 2017."

Ben Garrison did the cover and I am so happy with it. I told him what the book was about, sent him a copy of the manuscript, and he came up with a perfect cover. I am so pleased.


  1. There is a case to be made that those older students who are legally adults, and the teachers, are being denied their constitutional right to carry their guns into schools and universities by school and university policies. I do not know why this aspect has not been challenged in the courts. A few guns firing back would have ended this shooting much sooner. Cowering under desks is useless. cm

    1. That's the heart of the matter, Soli. 50 gazillion "Gun-Free Zone" signs are not gonna do a damn thing. Some guy walked past me yesterday going into a local country market yesterday with a holster and firearm. Know what I felt? Warm. Safe. Secure. I don't carry, but it got me to thinking about it...

  2. The one FBI tip that was publicized arose from a comment that had been left on the tipster's Youtube channel. Not clear whether he knew the location of the crazy in Florida who posted the comment. Probably not, and thus not in a position to contact local police. Evidently, many locals did contact the local police, however; some 39 reports in 7 years, reportedly.

    That said, your observation about the likely result of a congressional hearing is probably all too accurate.

    1. No one ran the name on the You Tube comment, it seems. Including the FBI.

  3. Dear Don.
    20 of them did. The FBI and the locals were equally useless. And pretty much typical of current law enforcement.

  4. In 2013, the Broward County School Board, the Teachers Union, the NAACP, law enforcement, politicians and the Diversity Board entered a Holder/Lynch-style agreement to change the rules about school arrests due to concerns over disparate impact on minorities.

    They removed "threats" from the list of arrestable offenses.

    Somebody needs to ask this sheriff if his office still supports that rule change. I can understand taking graffiti vandals or pot-smokers off the list--but threats of violence at school should have never been removed. "If you see something, say something" was in effect pre-emptively banned for race-based political correctness.

    Had Cruz been arrested for threats or fighting or bringing bullets on campus, he might have been prohibited from buying weapons. Not to mention the two dozen calls made to local law enforcement for domestic disturbances. An arrest also might have shown up when the FBI went not looking for "nikolas cruz professional school shooter".

    In fairness to the FBI, they were pretty busy picking our president for us. That's what happens when the Perma-Blob knows they cannot be fired. They do what they shouldn't while failing to do what they should.

    Forget the Left's bogus reading of racial stats--they shouldn't drive fundamental public safety concerns here. It is an article of religious faith with them that all groups misbehave in exact proportion to their numbers--and any disparities are therefore because The Man is biased. It's pure fantasy, but that's their religion.

    We need a system so the State of Florida can keep a mentally-ill Nikolas Cruz from getting a gun instead of the system we have: the one where the Deep State decides for us that Donald Trump isn't mentally-fit to obtain the presidency.

    But this was a local policy failure, too. Broward County needs to revisit this. Yesterday.

  5. I think the FBI (besides needing a good debridement) needs to be reduced in tasking. The rule I have learned in many organizations is that the larger it grows the more incompetent it becomes until it is so big it cannot actually do anything but try to exist.

    Much of the Deep State is at that point, in my opinion.

    -Mikey NTH

    1. Yep! What you have is an example of Jerry Pournelle's Iron law of Bureaucracy.

  6. Who has time for obviously-incipient school massacres when bedsheets somewheres might be being soiled by Russian hookers?

    The FBI should defenestrate the jerks that are currently humiliating them in the eyes of the nation and the world.

  7. At least in Florida, here is the red herring problem with this, in a nutshell. Since before Trayvon the school systems in Miami Dade, Broward, Jax and Orlando have been pulling a bait and switch with regard to school violence statistics. The violent tendency of the (subset of) demographics in these regions actually requires this. The "juvenile status" of records also interacts with this. To reduce the "violence/crime" statistics of the urban school districts they refer criminal acts of students to psych evals instead of the local LEOs. So, this gets us to the lower crime stats, but it also gives us Trayvon's and Cruz's in the long run.

    Now, having a FL CCW, I can tell you that every BATF 4473 that is filled out (with a firearm purchase at a FFL) yields a check with NCIS. They govern the sale. They provide three options--approve, delay, or deny.

    The failure in this specific case, if you want to call it that, is that among the 11 questions (conerning felony, domestic abuse, drugs, etc.) you must answer, there is no explicit way NCIS can check violent tendency *unless* there is a report on file with NCIS. Cruz was suspended for fighting pretty seriously with the boyfriend of his ex-girlfriend. The Broward sheriffs were called to his home over 30 times for disturbances with his mother, in contrast to narrative of his defense attorney. Why wasn't this in NCIS? This is a local issue. I should mention that the Broward sheriff is a liberal race/cultural pandering anti-gunner.

    Now, let's zoom out. What about the Las Vegas shooter? What about the Muslim shooters? What about a 55 year old that walks on the baseball field in Virgina with an SKS, which is a C&R semiautomatic (curio & relic).

    At 1% of the population, 3,300,000 individuals are predicted to be just plain nuts. Mostly democrats it seems, based on the numbers. How do you build a crystal ball in the NCIS system for that?

    You can't. You establish a mutual assured lethal counter threat. Read Lott's works if you want to pick it up from here.

    And, don't leave home without it.

  8. Since it seems that the FBI couldn't care less about actually fighting or preventing crimes like this and is spending more of its time trying to unseat a duly-elected President by coming up with an increasingly bizarre array of unverifiable accusations, maybe we don't need them after all. In fact, maybe we never needed them to begin with.

  9. I read somewhere that the local cops were called to the house over 30 times with complaints. So they were in the house, they talked to the parents. They talked to the kid. They knew he was terrorizing the neighborhood. The school knew he was dangerous. Now why does the FBI have to be blamed when so many locals knew all about the kid? Local law enforcement and the school bear most of the blame for this one..

  10. The following two points are never mentioned when gun control/ rights/ ownership is talked about. And they seem important - and helpful - to me.

    *** 1) The 2nd Amendment is not the polar opposite of 'No private citizen can own a gun'. 'Every private citizen must own a gun' is the polar opposite.

    The 2nd Amendment has always been the middle ground. And it is the "natural resting state" between the two opposite solutions; which probably explains its enduring support.

    ***2) The campaign against Drunk Driving greatly reduced the number of deaths due to intoxicated drivers. The campaign focused on the animate (humans); not the inanimate (alcohol).

    Alcohol was not prohibited, and it's use was still permitted.

    The campaign "actions" - Legal, Financial, Social - were focused on the consequences of human behavior when alcohol was combined with driving. And very importantly - those that were complicit were targeted too: Bars, Restaurants, Employers, Parents, etc.

    ***It strikes me that if the goal is to reduce deaths due to Mass Shootings, then the solution needs to be in line with the above.

    1. No actually I would like to know where he got the AR,being underage and the money it cost to do so.

    2. Exactly, those that are complicit need to face consequences too. That is part of the reason why the campaign against Drunk Driving was successful.

  11. You mean the same local police who were called to the residence 37 times in the recent past? Why were they not called? Duh! I bet they knew about that kid already, too.

  12. The Parkland shooting was not terrorism, there was no hint of organized crime involvement, nor of drug trafficking, and the gun used was legally purchased. The FBI had no business being involved just as it had not business in the Columbine massacre. The FBI only is supposed to offer its forensic services in such mass crimes, unless the underlying crime involves matters over which the FBI has some jurisdiction. A kid angry at a guy for dating his ex-girlfriend doesn't qualify. But the FBI does have a serious obligation to notify appropriate authorities, in this case the Parkland PD and/or local Sheriff's office. We have no evidence they did. There's the rub, as a law enforcement agency, there's an inherent obligation to notify appropriate authorities as soon as possible of potential danger to someone or the pubic at large.

    Trouble is the media pushes the idea that the bigger the horror the more likely the FBI has jurisdiction. Those who understand the federal/state demarcation of criminal activity know that is not the case. But the media always wants to get the FBI involved, and of course turn on the FBI when they screw up, as they did here, but not for 'not running the tip up the chain', they screwed up by not doing what anyone law enforcement should have done, notify appropriate authorities.

  13. Don, I am an avid reader of your blog, but in this case I disagree.
    While I think I think the FBI should be dismantled, local police tend to be equally incompetent. Sheriff Scott Israel's BSO couldn't find their own ass in the mirror, so the Parkland piece of excrement slipped their radar as well.