FBI Scandal – Mass Shooting Discovery Made!
(UnitedVoice.com) – Over the last several decades, Americans have unfortunately become accustomed to mass shooting incidents. In 2017 alone, there were 50 in schools across America. Some critics of law enforcement say they aren’t doing enough to assess and properly respond to these potential violent domestic threats.
On December 7, 2017, William Atchison entered his former high school in Aztec, New Mexico, and killed two people before turning his gun on himself. Just a year before, the FBI interviewed Atchison and determined he wasn’t a threat. Some say the FBI didn’t do enough to connect the dots. Still, federal, state, and local law enforcement may have limitations in what they can do to stop mass shootings proactively.
Atchison Tells the FBI How to Monitor Him
On Thursday, May 10, NBC News reported on Atchison’s journey during his radicalization from citizen to mass murderer. According to the news report, the FBI missed opportunities to connect the dots and intervene before Atchison committed his crimes.
NBC said the young man left an online trail of hateful, racist, and despairing comments online. Yet, the FBI never saw them. Still, the red flags were there:
- In 2012, school administrators failed to contact police after Atchison detailed a chronology of the Columbine High School mass shooting in Colorado on a whiteboard.
- In March 2016, the FBI failed to notify the school when it learned that Atchison planned to carry out a deadly shooting. Additionally, after FBI agents interviewed the young man, they failed to follow up after Atchison told them about his fascination with mass killers.
- The FBI failed to discover the eventual shooter’s online relationship with an 18-year-old who led a mass shooting in Munich, Germany, that left nine people dead.
In addition, Atchison told the FBI bullies routinely beat and stabbed him, and he led a screwed-up life. When an agent asked Atchison what assurance he could provide he wouldn’t harm anyone, the young man said they could put him on a watch list and watch him.
What Do the Constitution and Law Say?
While putting people on watch lists sounds good, it may not be Constitutionally viable. In response to Atchison, an FBI agent told him it’s not against the law to be against anything. He told the future killer acting inappropriately upon feelings was against the law.
Therein is the rub. Across the country, state legislatures have enacted red flag laws designed to prevent what happened in Aztec, New Mexico. Law enforcement believes red flag laws have prevented the deaths of thousands of people. The laws allow authorities to remove guns from individuals when they seemingly pose a risk to others and themselves. Still, the burden is high, and court orders are only temporary.
The legal issue stems from due process concerns. The 5th and 14th Amendments enshrine due process and ensure limits on the powers of the government so that it balances individual rights outlined in the Bill of the Rights. The founding fathers felt innocent individuals who haven’t committed a crime shouldn’t be subjected to an overhanded government, even if the government has good intentions.
Benjamin Franklin once said it’s better to allow 100 guilty individuals to escape than to prosecute 1 innocent. The 5th Amendment codified this view and established innocence until proven guilty.
So, should there be a school shooter list as Atchison recommended? Where is the balancing point between red flag laws and civil liberties? You decide.
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