A Year After A Tragedy: Parkland Shooting

Emma Castaneda and Heidy Ortiz

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Valentine’s Day is a holiday to cherish the ones you love. Many people have a different feeling for the day, but there are some people who find Valentine’s Day to be one of the saddest days of the year. Some of those people were those affected by the Parkland Shooting which took place on Valentine’s day in 2018.

 

What schools have been affected?

In the year 2018, there was an average of about 52 school shooting in the whole year. Many schools in the US besides Stoneman Douglas High School have faced a similar tragedy, including Winston-Salem State University, Italy Texas High School, Marshall County High School, Lincoln High School, Sal Castro Middle School, Oxon Hill High School, Pearl-Cohn High School, Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Savannah State University, Mississippi Valley State University, Norfolk State University, Central Michigan University, Huffman High School, University of South Alabama, etc.

 

How people were affected?

One of the most impactful events that shocked everyone in the nation was the Parkland shooting. Many of the people that were killed left friends and family members behind. It has been a whole year since this event has taken place and has affected so many lives. People that survived the shooting with injuries lost a lot of chances of doing the things they love because of their severe injuries.

 

What took place the day of the shooting?

As of February 14, 2019, it has been a year since the Parkland shooting. This horrid mass shooting left 17 students and staff killed and 17 injured. The gunman’s name was Nikolas Cruz; he was 19 years old and decided to opened fire at Stoneman Douglas High school in Parkland, Florida. The gunman was seen using the AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle. He started to shoot in the outside area then continued the attack inside.

After many students were notified that Cruz was the suspect, some were not surprised because they thought he was “weird” and a “loner.” As reported in The Guardian, law enforcement got a bit of a warning when Cruz commented under a YouTube video saying, “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.”


What was the “Never Again Movement”?

After the shooting, many of the students and their families were upset at the lack of gun control in the country. Because of this, a group of survivors from the Parkland shooting decided to create an activist movement called the “Never Again Movement.” One of their main goals was getting stronger gun violence preventions measures. They scheduled a nationwide protest in Washington D.C called “March For Our Lives” and it was scheduled to be on March 24th. The march began on Pennsylvania Ave between 3rd and 12th street. It’s estimated that about 2 million people showed up to the event.

During the march for our lives, some survivors of the shooting gave speeches. Some of those speakers were key contributors to the “Never Again Movement,”  Emma Gonzales, Edna Chavez, David Hogg, and Cameron Kasky. After all of the movements and the shooting, some states and stores have changed their gun policies.

 

Has anything changed?

As a result of the Parkland mass shooting, many stores have changed their gun policies, including one of the country’s largest gun sellers, Dick’s Sporting Goods. After the incident, Ed Stack, the chairman and executive chief of the company, announced they would raise the gun-buying age to 21, along with the end to assault-style rifle sales.

Walmart is also a company that decided to raise its gun buying age to 21 and ended its sales of assault gun rifles, even children’s toys.

Some states have also passed “red-flag” gun laws.  These laws allow the temporary confiscation of weapons from people who are deemed a risk by a court of justice. Within the federal government, U.S Congress hasn’t passed any gun control laws since the Majority Stoneman Douglas High School shooting which occurred one year ago. Although no new gun legislation has passed, many states have created stricter gun laws.

With the shooting, came a wave of safety precautions that schools across the country have tried to come up.  Like, allowing teachers to have weapons in the classroom, such as guns and baseball bats. Or, hiring armed guards in front of schools, clear backpacks, cameras, and metal detectors.

HMSA’s assistant principal Ms, Castellanos, had an opinion on teachers being armed, she strongly says “I don’t think that’s their responsibility. I think it’s their responsibility to let us know if there’s somebody that they have a concern about, but not to have to protect them”

 

Safety at HMSA

I feel safe at HMSA because we are located right next to the police station, so if anything bad was to happen at school, the police would be able to take action quickly.” -Joy Uchegbu, 9th grader

“I know that if there’s a concern, students and staff are really quick to inform us about it” – Ms. Castellanos

 

How did you feel about the Parkland Shooting?

“The accident that occurred was truly tragic and impacted many lives, but I feel as if it could’ve been prevented. The students stated that they weren’t surprised when they found out who was terrorizing their school. They claimed that Cruz was always by himself. If someone would have done something, then maybe it could’ve prevented this event.”– Anonymous

 

“The Parkland shooting was a tragic event, and the law enforcement around the area should have listened to the reports about the shooter’s suspicious behavior.”-Joy Uchegbu, 9th Grader

 

Do you feel that active shooter drills are necessary?

“They are very necessary because, in the event of an active shooter, students and staff need to be prepared and know how to prevent casualties and injuries.”– Joy Uchegbu, 9th Grader

 

“Yes, because many of us say that we will try to take precautions to ensure something like this never happens again, but it still does. This is still an issue and it’s not easy to prevent, but we can prepare for the future and even change it with one small action.”– Anonymous

 

“I think they’re important because they’re going to help us practice for an emergency” – Ms. Castellanos

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