While we're waiting for WorldNetDaily (and Chuck Norris) to tell their readers the truth that CNN never tried to force a Parkland school massacre survivor to ask a scripted question at a televised forum (spoiler: we'll be waiting a long time for that), let's take a look at who WND is blaming for the massacre. Spoiler: it's not the gun, and they get the facts wrong on who they do blame.
Jane Chastain concedes that maybe President Trump shouldn't have repealed thath Obamap-era law banning the mentally ill from buying weapons -- but she then heaps more blame on the American Civil Liberties Union for somehow making sure the shooter was never institutionalized in the first place:
Trump’s critics rightfully point out that he signed a law that repealed an Obama regulation that would have added an additional 75,000 people who suffer from mental illness to the national background data check. No doubt Trump would like to take that back.
The rule that was repealed specifically required that the Social Security Administration add people who have been deemed incapable of managing their financial affairs to that list. That would include many who receive SSI disability payments due to mental illness. This would not have prevented Nikolas Cruz from obtaining all his guns, but it would have been a small step in the right direction.
The measure was part of a larger group of Obama rules that were reasonably repealed by Congress shortly after Trump took office. Yes, the repeal of the gun measure was supported by the NRA, but another organization that has been largely left out of this discussion, the ACLU, was also to blame.
Let us not forget that in the ’70s and ’80s the ACLU was at the forefront of patients’ rights legislation and court cases that emptied our mental institutions. These cases raised the bar significantly for anyone to be committed. The courts ultimately ruled that a finding of mental illness alone was not enough to justify a state’s locking a person up against his will and keeping him indefinitely in simple custodial confinement if such persons are dangerous to no one and can live safely in freedom.
What does living safely in freedom mean? Today, for the most part, that means living on the streets. Why? Because most of the mentally ill don’t think they are mentally ill. Once out, they refuse their meds and don’t go for treatment. When that happens many do become dangerous, and their heartbroken families are simply afraid to keep them or take them in. Research suggests that individuals with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are responsible for approximately 10 percent of all homicides in the United States. For mass killings, the percentage is approximately 33 percent.
It’s an urban legend that we have insane people living on the streets because Ronald Reagan closed the mental hospitals. Most mental hospitals were closed simply because they no longer had any patients. Sadly, liberal organizations like the ACLU that worked to get all these mental patients released largely abandoned society’s most vulnerable.
But Reagan did, in fact, play a role in deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill into group homes without funding or oversight to make sure they were being properly taken care of, both as California governor and as president.
Brent Smith, meanwhile, blamed Obama (as any given WND writer is wont to do for whatever):
This is what has been happening anywhere former President Obama and former Attorney General Eric Holder had instituted their bribery “Promise Plan.”
The Promise Program was “invented” for reasons of – what else? – diversity. Too many young blacks were being incarcerated. And schools were losing out on federal dollars because of the dropout/incarceration rate. The Promise Program incentivized police departments not to arrest young black men thus making the schools’ retention numbers look better. Unfortunately, they couldn’t be that obvious as to only let the young black ne’er-do-wells skate, so they expanded the “look the other way” service to include most school-age hoodlums.
And Shazam – the arrest/incarceration numbers began to plummet.
But this is precisely why background checks don’t and can’t work – because of the Promise Program. Like the calculator, the database can’t function if criminal data aren’t put into the system. The system, like the calculator, is only as good as the people running it.
It is precisely why Nickolas Cruz passed one after another background check. Like many other Broward County hoodlums, his name was left off the background check database.
Smith characterization of the Promise program as a "look the other way" service is false; it's a diversionary program designed to address root issues with youths accused of misdemeanor school-related offense instead of immediately treating them as criminals.
In fact, the Promise program was started in Florida by a Republican governor, Charlie Crist and had conservative support on the federal level, and the program -- even if Cruz had been involved in it -- doesn't prevent the arrest of a student making felony-level threats.
UPDATE: WND columnist James Zumwalt also falsely blames the Promise program:
But the story all the race-baiters fail to report is the role the NAACP actually played in the high death count Cruz tallied. The reason the four police officers held back, failing immediately to neutralize an active shooter in the school, was due to law enforcement’s adoption of the NAACP’s ill-advised, social-justice “PROMISE” program – a product of then-President Barack Obama’s politically motivated, race-based safer school policy. The policy sought to statistically demonstrate safer schools existed simply by police ignoring crimes committed by students, thus resulting in reports of reduced arrests. One would have thought an active-shooter scenario would have overridden such a policy. It did not; ironically, white students died due to an NAACP policy encouraging police to ignore criminal acts.