Gun controllers have so eagerly lined up to blame the NRA, the AR-15, and President Trump in the wake of the Florida school shooting that they overlooked the fact that we know very little about the one person who is to blame–the shooter himself.

We know the name of the alleged shooter is Nikolas Cruz, we know he was a former student who was expelled via disciplinary action, that he used a rifle to carry out his attack, and that he was captured by law enforcement without incident shortly after shooting.

Here is what we do not know:

Why did Cruz choose Valentine’s day?–a day associated with romance, as the day on which to carry out his attack?

What was Cruz’s family structure?–Cruz’s father died some years ago and his mother died around Thanksgiving 2017. The Washington Post reports that he was “living at a friend’s house” and that he was showing “signs of depression.” Was he receiving treatment for depression?

What did authorities know about Cruz?–Breitbart News reported that the FBI warned about months ago about a possible school shooter named Nikolas Cruz.

What ultimately set him off?–If the actual attacker was the same Cruz which the FBI warned about, then what finally caused him to pull the trigger?

How did Cruz acquire his firearm?–Was the gun stolen or legally acquired? What it purchased or handed down to him upon his father’s death? These are crucial questions because the usual push for background checks is being conducted by the left, but what if Cruz passed a background check?

Does Cruz have a criminal record?–This question is important insofar as it speaks to whether he could pass a background check in the first place.

Where were the school resource officers at the time of the attack?–On February 14 Breitbart News reported that Broward County Public School superintendent Robert Runcie said there was a regular police presence–i.e., school resource officers–at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High. He said there were normally two such officers. Yet the events of February 14 proved that Cruz allegedly found his way around those officers.

Where did Cruz get his smoke bombs?–Sen. Bill Nelson told MSNBC that Cruz used smoke bombs and wore a gas mask for the attack. Were the smoke bombs such that a gas mask was really needed? Where did he learn about the bombs? Did he make them?

These questions only began to scratch the surface, yet even they suffice to show that a knee-jerk reaction of blaming the NRA, a firearm, or the president, is superficial at best.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at [email protected]. Sign up to get Down Range at

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