The 19-year-old who confessed to killing 17 people in a shooting at a Florida high school was reportedly a member of his high school’s rifle marksmanship team, which received funding from the National Rifle Association (NRA.)
The gunman, Nikolas Cruz, was wearing the school’s Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps shirt with the JROTC logo when he was arrested following the shooting, according to reports.
Former JROTC cadet Aaron Diener told the press that Cruz was a member of the marksman team and that he even once gave Cruz a ride to a shooting competition where both of them had competed back in 2016.
“He was a very good shot,” Diener said. “He had an AR-15 he talked about, and pistols.”
According to records, the school’s JROTC program received nearly $11,000 in “non-cash assistance” from the NRA Foundation, the portion of the NRA that deals with fundraising and charity, in 2016, when Cruz was a member of the team.
According to reports, the NRA Foundation gave just shy of $2.2 million to schools across the country in 2016.
Many have had ideas about how to decrease the NRA’s influence, but many of them have been complicated and have been deemed ineffective. One former GOP representative, however, gave a more simple solution.
Former Rep. David Jolly stated on Wednesday that if Americans want to stop mass shooting from happening in the future, there was just one thing they had to do: stop voting Republican.
“And so if this is the issue that defines your ideology as a voter, there are two things I would suggest tonight. First, flip the House. Flip the House,” Jolly said on CNN. “Republicans are not going to do a single thing after this shooting we saw today. But I would also offer to Democrats, work for incremental wins.”
The former Florida congressman said “Republicans will never do anything on gun control,” referencing the congressional baseball field shooting last year that left House Majority Whip Steve Scalise in critical condition for some time.
“The idea of gun policy in the Republican Party is to try to get a speaking slot at the NRA and prove to that constituency that you’re further right than generations past of Republicans have been on guns,” he said.
“Republicans will never do anything on gun control,” says former GOP Rep. David Jolly. “The idea of gun policy in the Republican party is to try to get a speaking slot at the NRA and prove to that constituency that you are further right” pic.twitter.com/4hjcC7910e
— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) February 15, 2018