Florida school shooting shocks nation

High school students declare "Never Again"

James Sanderson, Staff Writer

Nikolas Cruze, an expelled student, opened fire using an AR-15, a semi-automatic rifle, killing seventeen and injuring fourteen on Wednesday, February 14,  at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. He purchased the rifle from Dick’s Sporting Goods without a background check or waiting period.

Following the horrific event, many of the students who experienced the shooting have begun a relentless movement to end gun violence, using the hashtag  #NeverAgain to spread their beliefs. Thousands of students across the U.S. showed their support with spontaneous walkouts.

The #NeverAgain mission statement reads, “We cannot allow one more child to be shot at school. We cannot allow one more teacher to make a choice to jump in front of a firing assault rifle to save the lives of students. We cannot allow one more family to wait for a call or text that never comes. Our schools are unsafe. Our children and teachers are dying. We must make it our top priority to save these lives.”

Tuesday following the shooting, three charter buses from Stoneman Douglas, filled with a hundred students and fifteen chaperones, arrived in the state capitol, Tallahassee, to advocate for stricter gun control. After their visit, the teens got very little in response from the Florida statehouse.

Students from all over the nation have started to host their very own walkouts. Thus far, Democrats have tried to reach an agreement with Republicans to pass stricter gun laws, but many Republicans believe that implementing these laws will not make a difference. Many believe if someone really wants a gun to commit a crime, a law wouldn’t stop them. Senator Marco Rubio said, “if someone decided, I’m going to commit this crime, they’ll find a way to get the gun to do it.”

We cannot allow one more child to be shot at school. We cannot allow one more teacher…to jump in front of a firing assault rifle to save the lives of students. ”

— #NeverAgain

However, the Never Again movement has had an impact. Because of the persistence of the Parkland and other students, significant changes have occurred. Many companies such as Met Life and Delta Airlines have cut their discounts for NRA members.

The NRA is currently suing  Florida since it enacted a bill to implement greater gun control in the state of Florida. The bill raises the minimum age to buy rifles from 18 to 21, bans bump stocks, introduces a three-day waiting period, allows police to confiscate weapons and ammunition from suspected threats, and allows school staff to carry arms.

A national student/school walkout has been scheduled for March 14 to mark the one month anniversary of the Parkland shooting, as well as a national march called the March for Our Lives on March 24. The main march will take place in Washington, D.C., at 10 a.m. with satellite marches at the same time around the country.