In a long overdue step to prevent further kamikaze hits on America's schools, Congressman Randy Weber (R-TX-14) has introduced the Justice for Victims of School Shootings Act. I urge you to support this important bill.
The continuing tragedy of school shootings is a national not a local problem. If enacted, this proposed law will do what I have been demanding for many years to achieve justice and prevent further attacks which is: Make school shootings a federal offense.
Congressman Weber's Thoughts RE: Prevention of Further Attacks
In a press release announcing the bill, Congressman Weber advises:
“After the tragic Santa Fe High School shooting that took ten lives and injured thirteen, I began investigating legislative options that would prevent, mitigate, and penalize senseless acts of violence. It came to my attention that in mass shooting incidents where the perpetrator survived, the only available federal charges were those relating to hate crimes..."
Congressman Weber also states: "America is facing a growing national problem. School shootings are becoming our daily reality...Preliminary research shows, as references to school shootings increase on social media the probability of another school shooting increases nationally by 85 percent. These attacks do not just affect the victims, they also spread terror across our country and alter our daily lives..."
(Pictured: Terrified survivor of the May 9, 2019 STEM School attack in Colorado)
Congressman Weber goes on to say: "The growing number of victims and families left grieving from these atrocious acts of violence leaves Congress no other choice but to fight back. Students deserve to feel safe and free from distraction in an educational environment."
(Pictured: Congressman Randy Weber)
According to Congressman Weber: "There are few more heinous crimes than those which target our students. It leaves a permanent mark on our society. Families of victims deserve justice – an important element in the healing process – for their loved ones. My bill will allow federal prosecutors more options in their fight against anyone targeting students."
Why This Law is Necessary.
The states have been unable to effectively contend with our continuing national disgrace known as the modern active school shooter/bomber era, established on April 20, 1999 at Columbine High School near Littleton, Colorado.
In data released in a recent CNN study entitled "10 Years. 180 School Shootings. 356 Victims," it was reported school shootings are on the rise:
Moreover, the FBI advises that nearly 21% of all active shooter episodes occur in schools and other educational settings.
According to other sources, school shooters across the United States have either researched and/or been directly or indirectly influenced by Columbine, including episodes at:
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida;
Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut;
Sparks Middle School in Nevada;
Virginia Tech University in Virginia;
Northern Illinois University in Illinois;
Santa Fe High School in Texas.
Regarding Santa Fe: Journalists Manny Fernandez, Julie Turkewitz and Jess Bidgood in their New York Times article entitled "For 'Columbiners' School Shootings Have a Deadly Allure" wrote: "The exact reasons a teenage gunman shot his fellow students and teachers here at Santa Fe High School remain a mystery. His model for carrying it out is more clear."
(Source: TCC You Tube Channel)
The Columbine attack was an undeclared act of domestic terrorism against all citizens perpetrated by two high school seniors who were influenced by the April 19, 1995 bombing at the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City.
The Columbine killers aimed to kill hundreds: They plotted for more than a year to commit their kamikaze attack which they intended to blow their high school off the face of the planet. When two of their nearly 100 homemade bombs failed to detonate, the killers went into active shooter mode and shot 12 fellow students and one teacher dead before committing suicide in the school library.
(Pictured: 13 innocents murdered at Columbine High School)
In virtually every case since Columbine where the perpetrators who have committed murder in our schools have survived their deadly attacks, none of the defendants were or have been charged under federal law.
That is until April 9, 2019: On that day - 11 days before the 20th anniversary of the attack at Columbine High School - federal authorities announced they were charging the Santa Fe High School defendant under federal law.
The defendant was taken from his cell in the country jail and brought before a federal magistrate. However, little beyond that is known about the federal proceedings beyond that because the defendant was a minor less than five months shy of his 18th birthday at the time of the rampage. Thus all federal proceedings are sealed.
By contrast, the two accused perpetrators who opened fire on May 7, 2019 killing one student and wounding eight others at Colorado's STEM School in Highland Beach, located just a few miles away from Columbine, have in typical fashion only been charged under state law thus far.
Meantime in Santa Fe, Texas and Parkland, Florida: Justice Delayed.
More than 15 months following the massacre at Santa Fe High School, the confessed defendant has yet to stand trial.
It has been recently learned the defendant's counsel in state court where he has been charged as an adult filed documents seeking a mental evaluation, asserting his mental state “has degraded to the point where there is no understanding of the matter and the proceedings.” If the motion is granted, it could lead to more delays in bringing him before a Texas state court to stand trial.
Similarly, the defendant who has been accused of murdering 14 students, three faculty members and wounding 17 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018 in Parkland, Florida also has not yet stood trial. No federal charges have been filed against him to date.
Difference Between State, Federal Charges: Swift Justice.
Years-long delays are not uncommon in state proceedings.
On the other hand, the defendant who committed mass murder at the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City in 1995 and who was immediately charged under federal law stood trial, was convicted, sentenced, and put to death within six years - and this included one unsuccessful appeal.
Many families whose lives have been devastated by the attack at Santa Fe High School have through their grief and pain advocated diligently to ensure no other parent, husband, wife, sister, brother, child, parent and friend walk in their shoes and the shoes of their loves ones while also demanding justice. Please watch the following video:
Action is Needed by Every American NOW.
School shootings and bombings have occurred largely at state government-owned schools which receive federal funding and have involved the killing, wounding and/or terrorizing of civil servants and we well as America's future: Its children who were enrolled in those schools to receive their compulsory educations.
Federal intervention through legislation ensuring that every school shooter is immediately charged and timely brought to justice under federal law is well overdue.
I urge every American to contact Congressman Weber's office and advise him that you support the "Justice for Victims of School Shootings" Congressman Weber's contact information is here: https://weber.house.gov/contact/officeinformation.htm)
Then please contact your federal legislators - via telephone and email - and tell them that they should also support this bill.
(To see the Justice for Victims of School Shootings Act in its entirety please go here: