Never again


By Staff

RISE UP: Hurricanes call for increased gun control during a walkout honoring the victims and survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy, in which a shooter killed 17 students and staff Feb. 14.

“It was so unexpected that it definitely left us all in shock,” said junior Raya Holmes of the Pre-Law Academy about the tragic event at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that occurred Feb. 14.

The mass shooting at the hands of 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, who was armed with a legally obtained AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle, resulted in 17 deaths and 14 injuries.

Since then there have been numerous demonstrations in favor of stricter gun control and support for the victims. Across Florida and elsewhere, protest marches and school walkouts have been organized by survivors-turned-activists, and students have raised more than $2 million.

Topics such as gun control, mental illness and armed teachers increasingly are subjects of conversations, especially among teenagers. 

“We should have control over hunting guns and ban assault weapons because we shouldn’t punish those people who just like going hunting and do so responsibly,” said Janie Aviles, a freshman in the Culinary Academy. “Assault weapons were designed specifically to kill a lot of people at one time. A hunting gun doesn’t do that.” 

Jeannine Dada, a junior in the Web Design Academy, said the government “needs to start taking it seriously.  I mean, people, kids, are losing their lives over stuff like this. They’re afraid to step into their own school, a place where they’re supposed to feel safe, because senators and governors are too busy accepting money from the NRA (National Rifle Association) to pass a bill that could actually save lives.” 

The tragedy also has sparked debate over raising the legal age to purchase a gun to 21 instead of 18. 

“There are some 18-year-olds that are mature,” said Robelle Jean, junior in the Medical Academy, “but any mature person would also not buy a gun to kill a bunch of innocent students.” 

“The age should definitely be raised to 21, along with a background check to make sure the fresh ‘adult’ isn’t going to plan a mass murder spree,” she said.

“It’s ridiculous that we’re able to buy a weapon before being able to taste alcohol legally. That needs to be fixed.”