Creating change and taking action

A graphic against school shootings. Graphic Credit: Lisbeth Valentin

By Lisbeth Valentin ’18

February 14, a day in which people celebrate love and friendship, marked a turning point in history. Parkland Florida, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School lost 17 of their members after a shooting took place during school hours.

The survivors of the shooting have decided to not stay quiet about the shooting, but rather planned a march on March 14 to remember the people that died. The march will consist of making a change in order to create laws that prevent unqualified people from purchasing guns.

Students went from being ordinary people to becoming activists in  hopes to promote change. Survivors from the shooting have planned marches around the country in order  to expose the importance of changing the gun laws to the government.

Even though hearing from the survivors is important, it is also important to listen to what students from other schools have to say regarding the shooting. David Castro, senior, when asked if there should be more strict laws on guns he mentioned, “I believe that there should be stricter laws on the purchase of firearms since they are deadly weapons. [Not every person] should be able to buy them.” Additionally, David Marchan, senior, stated, “I understand that our second amendment is the right to bear arms, but I honestly think [that] we as a nation need to review our gun laws because this is obviously not the first time [a school shooting] has happened.” Marchan continued to talk about the mass shootings that have taken place in history, and stated that the government should review our gun laws if they care about the citizen’s safety.

The shooter, Nikolas Cruz, was caught, and is currently being held in police custody until a verdict is made. When asked if people should feel sympathy for Cruz, Castro mentioned that people should not feel sympathy for the shooter since the shooter should have been aware of his actions. Furthermore, Castro stated, “Why have sympathy for someone who killed innocent people?” Alternatively, Marchan stated, “I personally feel sympathy for the shooter if he was bullied and abused as a kid or as a teen, but it doesn’t mean he shouldn’t get a harsh punishment for taking the lives away from innocent people.”

Students are taking action in order to ignite change. Students from other states are viewing this as a great way to make change happen, like in the case of Castro who stated, “I believe that it is good that the students want to be involved in [the] change [for their] community. It shows how they are [trying to avoid] anything like this from ever happening again.” Marchan mentioned that even though the marches will not cause immediate change, it will happen little by little.