Protect kids or confiscate guns?
In days gone by, a massacre of students like the atrocity at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School would have brought us together.
But like so many atrocities before it, this mass murder is tearing us apart.
The perpetrator, the sick and evil 19-year-old who killed 17 innocents with a gun is said to be contrite.
Having confessed, he faces life in prison. For the next half-century, Nikolas Cruz will be fed, clothed, sheltered and medicated at the expense of Florida taxpayers, including the families of those he murdered.
Cruz's punishment seems neither commensurate with his crimes nor a deterrent for sick and evil minds contemplating another Columbine.
It didn't use to be this way.
On Feb 15, 1933, anarchist Giuseppe Zangara tried to assassinate President-elect Franklin Roosevelt in Miami. His arm jostled, he killed instead Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak. Five weeks later, on March 20, 1933, Zangara died in the electric chair.
Swift, sure and pitiless, but that legal justice system worked.
With Cruz, the system failed up and down the line.
Cruz should never have been allowed to purchase or possess a gun. He was angry, alienated, isolated. Police had been to his family home to deal with complaints 39 times. Yet he had no arrest record when he purchased his AR-15.