Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a day filled with flowers, chocolates, teddy bears, and love but it turned out to be quite the opposite. It was a tragedy that not only affected the victims in the school but the entire country.
On Feb. 14, a former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student killed 16 people in the school making him responsible for one of the deadliest school shootings in modern American history.
This incident has caused students across the country to participate in walkouts and rallies to get their voices heard. Students are attempting to get Congress and the president to listen to their concerns and to take action.
The shooter arrived at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in an Uber and “pulled out a semi automatic AR-15 rifle in a black duffel bag and backpack, where he hid loaded magazines,” the NY Times reported.
He shot people inside five classrooms on the first and second floors of the freshman building and eventually discarded the rifle, a vest and ammunition in a stairwell. He then blended in with fleeing students and eventually got away. Authorities apprehended him an hour later at a McDonald’s, according to CNN.
This mass shooting is one of past two months of this year alone. “It’s time for something to change in the legislation, no 18 year old should have access to a gun like that;” junior Annie Clampitt said.
Clampitt took part in a national walkout on Feb. 21 with thousands of other students to rally and demand something be done. Students all over are worried that they are next and believe the time is overdue for peace and change. Currently there is little regulation over who can buy a gun and the NRA seems resistant to change.
Dana Loesch, a spokeswoman for the NRA, spoke at a Town Hall in Sunrise, FL. on Feb. 21 and she believes that the issue is mental stability. “In terms of prevention and making sure that people who are dangerous should not have access to firearms,” Loesch said.
Members of the community question what changes will be made to ensure the students and staff feeling of security when they walk into the school. It is imperative that “we build better relationships with kids to try and be inclusive but also make sure the students keep an eye out for something that might be suspicious,” security team leader Chris Pucciarelli said.
There have been complaints about how easy it is for someone to walk in. “There needs to be a better security system for people entering and leaving the building,” math teacher Suzanne Pykosh said.
To further protest the nation’s lack of gun laws, on March 14 there will be a National School Walkout and the theme of the event is “enough is enough.”