FBI culture must change to protect our children

Could the mass murder of 17 people, most of them children, at a Florida high school last week have been prevented? We will never know with certainty.

What we do know is that someone in the FBI was tipped off months ago that someone named Nikolas Cruz had threatened to “be a professional school shooter.” It was Nikolas Cruz who went on a killing spree last week.

FBI officials were notified of Cruz’s social media posting, but say they were unable to locate the person who used YouTube to make his threat.

How many people named Nikolas Cruz are there in the United States? Not many, we venture to say. Yet the federal government, with the most comprehensive, detailed databases in the world, was unable to find Cruz.

FBI officials have admitted mistakes were made. Indeed. Seventeen innocent people paid with their lives because, frankly, someone in the FBI did not take the situation seriously.

Similar breakdowns have occurred before. A breakdown in the FBI background check for those purchasing firearms allowed a white supremacist to buy a gun he used later to kill nine people in a Charleston, S.C., church.

Some have called for the resignation of FBI Director Christopher Wray.

But what of the FBI employees, agents or otherwise, whose lack of urgency allows killers to slip through the cracks?

Admitting the mistake isn’t enough. Not nearly. Wray should stay in his job — but his boss, President Donald Trump, and members of Congress should insist on evidence that the FBI culture is being changed.

Our children are too important to tolerate FBI agents who decide a “professional school shooter” is not a top priority.

editorial@tribtoday.com

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