After the School shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting in Florida, the Nation is faced with looking at itself in the mirror and ask itself what really matters?
On February 14, 2018, a mass shooting occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school in Parkland, Florida where 17 students and member of staff were killed and several other were injured. The shooter is 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, a former student at the high school. When students were told who the alleged shooter was, they said that they knew the Cruz would be the one to do something like this.
Several students knew that he had anger management issues and were often threatened by him through social media. Cruz would often have anti-Muslim and anti-black posts and would follow white supremacist groups on social media. He would also showcase his “collection” of weapons and send pictures of them to students to scare them. Some of his actions had caused people to report him to the FBI because they thought that he could potentially hurt a lot of people.
Seeing that there was a large amount of evidence that proved that Cruz was a threat to anyone, he should have been stopped way before this shooting happened. A good portion of the country believes that someone like Cruz shouldn’t have been able to purchase a weapon in the first place, especially an AR-15 (which was used in the Parkland shooting). Some people believe that his mental instability is the problem and not the fact that he owned and used an AR-15.
The Parkland Shooting has brought up the gun control debate in the country. The Gun control debate in the United States is one that arises after every mass shooting but is silenced with “thoughts and prayers” after a week of news coverage.
However, it seems like this mass shooting might be the one to turn things around. Surviving students and parents of students are becoming activists and fighting groups like the National Rifle Association to get their voices heard. They went to Tallahassee to seek change from Florida legislatures and some went to our nation’s capital to get answers from the President. Andrew Pollack, father of one of the victims, spoke directly to President Trump.
“We’re here because my daughter has no voice — she was murdered last week, and she was taken from us, shot nine times,” said Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was one of the 17 killed in Parkland. “How many schools, how many children have to get shot? It stops here, with this administration and me, because I’m not going to sleep until it’s fixed.”
More and more people have been second guessing their ownership of military-style weapons such as AK-47s or AR-15s and have decided to give up those weapons. On the other hand, some people have tightened their grip on their weapons and refuse to see any type of change in gun control.
This could make anyone from around the world wonder: why does America love its guns more than it loves its children?
People have been suggesting that controlling guns is not going to solve the problem because the actual problem is mental illness. The Trump Administration is increasing its funding into mental illness research because the administration believes that mental illness is the true perpetrator behind all of these mass shootings. But if the Trump Administration truly believed that, then in February of 2017, they would not have repealed an Obama-era regulation that would have made it easier to block the sale of firearms to people with certain mental illnesses.
Another actor that must be brought up in this debate is the most powerful single-issue interest group in the United States of America: The National Rifle Association or more commonly known as the NRA. The NRA has been successful at lobbying to congress and even funding several election campaigns for members of congress. So, it’s no wonder that they have been able to pass their agenda along for years and easily silence these gun control debates.
So now the question has become for the United States government: do you want to stay in office by the money soaked in blood or do you want to protect the civilians you swore to take care of?
The Parkland students have now devoted their lives to change gun legislation. They say, “We are going to be the last mass shooting”.