Potential school shooting stopped at a Florida university

Potential school shooting stopped at a Florida university

Last week yet another potential school shooting was stopped. For the other one, click here. This time, the arrest took place in Daytona Beach, Florida, where 19-year-old John Hagins has been charged with allegedly planning an attack at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Hagins has been charged with written threats to injure or kill, terrorism and attempted first-degree homicide. He was ordered to be held without bond.

Before his arrest, Hagins sold his truck just days before, so he could have the money to buy a gun. He is said to have bought a collapsible Kel-Tec rifle. According to the manufacturer’s website, that type of gun is a semi-automatic folding carbine. From what I can surmise, it’s a folding rifle that fires pistol ammunition. In this case, the gun is said to fire 9mm ammo. If I got any of that wrong, I’m sure a responsible gun owner will correct me.

So was the gun purchased legally? Sadly, it was. Hagins is said to have bought the gun from a private seller on Facebook Marketplace. While the private sales of firearms are against the Facebook terms of service, the sale wasn’t illegal. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not problematic. While Florida normally has a three-day waiting period for the purchase of a firearm, there is no such waiting period when it comes to a private sale. This is an infamous flaw in our country’s gun laws, known as the ‘gun show loophole’. This type of gun sale also avoids any criminal background checks, but that wouldn’t have stopped Hagins, as he had no previous criminal record. That’s not to say that other criminals haven’t used private gun sales to skirt background checks, with many of those sales ending in fatal consequences.

Police were tipped off to Hagins by two other students of the University after Hagins allegedly made threatening posts on Snapchat. After buying the gun, Hagins is said to have shared a photo of the gun on Snapchat with a friend, as one does, with the caption of “I finished my back to school shopping.” One of Hagins’ friends, who reported him, said that Hagins was constantly talking about buying a gun that he could fold up into his backpack, so he could take it to the school and shoot the school up. Hagins was also said to have referenced Columbine, stating that when he was done at the firing range, he was headed to the school. In further Columbine fashion, Hagins also allegedly said that he was going to buy a silencer for the gun, so he could shoot inside the school library.

Police were able to take Hagins into custody outside his apartment before he could make it to the shooting range. An officer noticed part of the gun sticking out of his backpack, so I guess it wasn’t as foldable as he thought. The backpack was said to contain the gun, five fully loaded magazines of 17 rounds each, an extended 32 round magazine, and hundreds of additional rounds.

While no motive has been made public yet, as far as I know, multiple reports have indicated that Hagins grades started to slide after being accused of sexually assaulting a female student during a 2020 party. While I can’t say for sure that’s Hagins motive, I wouldn’t discount it, as he seems to give off incel-like vibes and the number of incel mass shooters is many.

I may sound like I’m down on guns, and that’s because I am. While I don’t think guns cause school shootings, I think their ease of access and the laughable gun laws in this country are a major contributing factor to the blood that has been spilled from our schoolchildren.

And for those who say that even if guns are outlawed, kids can still buy things like baseball bats, get back to me when 20 students are killed by a mass-batting.

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