Broward Coward

Everyone considered him, the Coward of the County…

He never stood one single time, to prove the county wrong…

“No one wants to face an AR-15.”  With that pathetic rationale, one of the many faces of the “victims” of the Parkland Florida shooting (a “victim” who did not receive a single injury, by the way) excuses the cowardly conduct of the deputies from Broward who stayed outside rather than face the school shooter and bring his rampage to an end.  This is not a defense of the deputy: it is an attempt to demonize a gun.

The deputy, who resigned when his conduct became publicly known, has now set out to “rehab” his image by claiming that he thought the gunfire was coming from outside the school.  As those of us who have shot firearms, and had them fired at us in anger know, the sounds of gunfire inside a building are decidedly different from those sounds outside a building.  He could not have been confused.  There is no excuse for letting innocents die when you are charged with protecting them.  There is no euphemism for “coward.”

The sheriff seeks to mitigate the harm this cowardice has inflicted on his department by claiming that there is no “evidence” that deputies waited outside.  No evidence, of course, other than statements made by Coral Springs police who arrived on scene to find Broward deputies hiding outside.  They must have been very easy to spot with those yellow streaks running down their back, and the puddles of urine underneath them.

I would agree with the student “victim” to the extent that no one wants to face down a person with an AR-15 when the rifleman is outside and you’re firing a relatively underpowered 9mm pistol.  But inside a school, where walls and hallways limit freedom of movement as well as point of aim, a handgun is a superior tool to an AR because a shooter need expose much less of his body to the attacker.  Even if this tactical advantage were not reason enough to merit a full-scale assault on the shooter, the fact that children were being killed certainly was.  It is never defensible to claim that waiting for backup in that situation was “policy” because while a criminal is expected to be rational and not attempt to run from police in large numbers, crazy people who hear voices and shoot up schools genuinely may not care if they live or die.  They are interested in a body count, and the sooner they are interdicted, the better.

Worse, the longer the wait, the more likely you will have a hostage situation, and hostage situations never work out well for the hostages when the hostage-taker is batshit crazy as Nicholas Cruz clearly was.  Perhaps not crazy in a legal sense — he knew what he was doing — but he did lay off the shooting to hearing voices.  And he wound up surrendering peacefully, and thus was likely searching for that 15 minutes of fame that comes with acts of infamy.

As I have thought about it, the key difference between someone like me, a civilian, and someone like the deputy that peed down his leg while waiting for help, is that I have not taken an oath to enforce the law in Broward County.  I have not voluntarily bound myself to place myself between evil and the innocents.  I do not draw a paycheck every month specifically because I have professed that willingness to confront evil.  American history is full of men who assumed the burden of taking on evil and made great sacrifices in that cause.

On the island of Iwo Jima the Japanese during World War II had large concentrations of men and rifles trained on a relatively smaller contingent of US Marines.  Those marines did not “want to go up against” men with Type 96 machine guns firing 6.5 mm bullets at them.  They did not want to crawl up on beaches while being shot and mortared.  They did not want to get shot and killed.  But they did not stay on board the ship and let the other guys do it.  They did not wait for the Army Air Corp to bomb the island into submission.  No, they moved forward, into the line of fire, and they fought as units against an organized and lethal evil.  And they prevailed only at great cost.

Some will say that these men did not do this voluntarily.  They were compelled because not advancing under fire would have seen them court-martialed and imprisoned.  But men do not fight because they fear the consequences of dishonor, they fight because they do not want the unwashable stain of dishonor attached to them.  They fight for their brothers, and yes, they fight for their country and the ideals of freedom, justice, mercy and love.  They fought because they knew that unless they did, evil would triumph.  They took an oath.  They honored that oath.

The Broward deputy took an oath too.  Specifically, he took this oath:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, protect, and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States and of the State of Florida; that I am duly qualified to hold office under the Constitution of the State, and that I will well and faithfully perform the duties of deputy sheriff on which I am now about to enter, so help me God.

A sheriff does not “well and faithfully perform” those duties when he hides like a screaming 13 year old girl until the shooting stops.  The deputy was a coward, and he did the right thing by resigning.  He had not well and faithfully executed the duties of his office.

Now the sheriff himself must resign.  He went on live television and never revealed the role of the deputy who was cowering behind a concrete wall sucking his thumb and saying “mamma.”  He did not disclose the statements by the Coral Springs police officers.  He did not admit the dozens of missteps by officers in the weeks and months leading up to the shooting.  He has continually said that Broward County did not drop the ball.  The man is either an idiot, or the most cognitively dissonant individual since Baghdad Bob.  The buck stops with him, and just like the deputy, by allowing cowards to serve, he has not well and faithfully executed his office.  He needs to resign.

Governor Scott should fire him if he fails to resign.

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