Florida School Shooting: What happened?

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By Eric Garfias ’19

As most of us unfortunately know, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 17 people, students and staff, lost their lives as Nikolas Cruz opened fire in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

This shooting in particular has opened up for more debates to be had. There are more activist protesting the NRA (National Rifle Association), a nonprofit group that supports gun right., There  are some activist that are calling out the F.B.I. for not acting upon a tip received about Cruz, mental health, and even talks about officers who remained outside, calling them “cowards”.

For that reason, we have to start acting now. There needs to be change, and not just gun laws, even though they are important. The good people of this country cannot just let Democrats and Republicans, who believe “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good on with a gun”. Debates about guns and who should be able to have one can be traced back all the ways back to the 1800-1900s, while the first recorded mass shooting took place in New Jersey, Labor Day, 1949. Some call this the start of an era where such tragedies as these would become common.

One of the biggest reasons these events keep happening over and over again can be attributed to the fact on how easy it is for a person to get their hands on a gun. There are many defenses that the Republican party in general and pro-gun activist fall back on for support. One being “guns don’t kill, people kill. While this is a true statement, a gun cannot simply kill 17 people on its own without having someone pull the trigger, guns are tools that are used to take innocent lives. The current laws make it ridiculously easy for someone who is not mentally stable to receive a weapon capable of such damage. They also say that the problem is people with mental health, which is something I agree with, but it is not the only cause. Instead of investing time and resources in groups such as the NRA or SAF (Second Amendment Foundation), it should be put towards identifying those who are in need of help.

Point is, both guns and mental health are causes to mass shooting like these and we should not let either side of the political spectrum say it is only one or the other. Another excuse, frankly the biggest one, people use to support less restraint laws, is the Second Amendment: the right to bear arms. One has to take into consideration that when the second amendment was ratified. On December 15, 1791, the only weapons they had available to them were muskets and blunderbusses, not semi-automatic weapons that can be used to end the lives of 28 young students and 6 teachers in Sandy Hook.

This is not to say that the second amendment should be repealed all together, but strict revisions need to be made. Something needs to be done. We cannot keep  letting events like this become a everyday tragedy.