Due to the school shooting on the afternoon of February 14, 2018, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, seventeen people were killed and fourteen more were taken to hospitals, making it one of the world’s deadliest school massacres.
The suspected perpetrator, Nikolas Jacob Cruz, was then arrested shortly after and confessed, according to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. He was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
In September 2017, the FBI learned “Nikolas Cruz” had posted a YouTube comment, “I’m going to be a professional school shooter”, but the FBI could not identify who made the statement. Cruz’s Instagram account reportedly had pictures of knives and him holding guns, which his 209 followers could have taken more seriously, but failed to do so.
Police and prosecutors have not yet established a motive for the rampage and are considering “a pattern of disciplinary issues and unnerving behavior.”
I personally believe that this is yet another tragedy that once again reminds us that we need to fight for change and open our eyes and smell the coffee! Innocent lives were taken away. Mothers who will never be able to hold, kiss, or talk to their children again. Wives who will never be able to see their husbands again. Siblings that will have to go through life alone and can never ask for advice or which color looks better on them.
Fourteen students and three staff members were killed, and many others wounded or injured, including at least 14 who were taken to local hospitals. Three people remained in critical condition the next day and one the day after that. Of those killed, twelve died in the school, two just outside the school buildings, one on the street, and two at the hospital.
The dead were Alyssa Alhadeff: age14, Scott Beigel :age 35, Martin Duque: age 14, Nicholas Dworet :age 17, Aaron Feis: age 37, Jaime Guttenberg: age 14, Chris Hixon: age 49, Luke Hoyer: age 15, Cara Loughran: age 14, Gina Montalto:age14, Joaquin Oliver:age17, Alaina Petty: age 14, Meadow Pollack: age 18, Helena Ramsay: age 17, Alex Schachter: age 14, Carmen Schentrup: age 16, and Peter Wang: age 15.
The real question is when will enough be enough? Was Sandy Hook Elementary not enough? The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occurred on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, when 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children between six and seven years old, as well as six adult staff members.
Or maybe not even the Columbine shooting was enough? During the Columbine High School shooting in Littleton, Colorado, teens Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, went on a shooting spree on April 20, 1999. The two killed 13 people and wounding more than 20 others before turning their guns on themselves and committing suicide. At the time, the massacre was the worst high school shooting in U.S. history and prompted a national debate on gun control and school safety.
Fortunately, students have taken a stand forming rallies, protests, and go fund me accounts. Students have received generous donations of half of a million dollars from both actors Oprah Winfrey and George Clooney. In just two days, students have managed to reach over 2 million dollars.
They’ve participated in politics even, to try to pass gun laws that are stricter and that boost gun license and purchase ages from 18 to 21. They’ve even targeted politicians such as Marco Rubio who’s supported guns and their use heavily. There was a rally over the weekend.
On Tuesday, many started heading up to Florida’s capital, Tallahassee, to meet with legislators and hold a “Rally to Support Gun Safety Reform” on Wednesday. They’re planning with Women’s March Youth EMPOWER to walk-out of school on March 14 and a “March for Our Lives” on March 24 in Washington.Students such as David Hogg have taken a stand,
“People get sad after this and they don’t want to take action, and I totally understand that. I’m not going to let these politicians keep murdering my friends. How can we let these people stay in power if they’re just trying to save themselves?” Hogg, 17, said of his decision to speak out after the shooting.
If seeing the youth go out there and try to make a difference doesn’t move you, or instills an urge in you to go out and tackle the same issues, in Parkland, and your own community, then my friend you are all emotionally and mentally disconnected and unethical.
Take a stand. Cherish your loved ones. Be a listening ear. If you have a chance to be different and not bully or pick on someone, seeing as though that is often the cause of such behaviors, take it.
Who cares if you’re an outcast? That could be the very distinguisher between life and death. If you know something isn’t going right in your community or in your school, job, business, or religious vicinity, speak. Know that it is okay to challenge others, even if they are in “higher” power than you. The worst thing you can do is see a problem or injustice and turn a cheek.