Tragedy struck once again this Valentine’s Day. This time it took place in Parkland, Florida, which was ironically named Florida’s safest city in 2017.
People woke up and went to work or school like every other routine day. Little did we know that 17 students and staff would walk through the doors of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that day and never come back out.
Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old terrorist, reportedly pulled out a semiautomatic AR-15 rifle and opened fire in the hallways and classrooms of the school.
Notice how I called him a terrorist because… well... that’s exactly what he is. A terrorist. None of this “orphaned 19-year-old with a troubled past” bullshit.
If he had any other skin tone people wouldn’t even think twice about calling him anything else.
According to Florida statute, terrorism is defined as “a violent act or an act dangerous to human life which is a violation of the criminal laws of this state or the United States... and is intended to intimidate, injure, or coerce a civilian population”. So there you have it, no more excuses.
Since this shooting occurred, three out of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern US history have taken place within the last five months.
According to data from the Gun Violence Archive, on average there have been five school shootings each month. FIVE SCHOOL SHOOTINGS EACH MONTH.
Since the Sandy Hook shooting took place in 2012, there have been at least 239 school shootings across the nation where 438 people were shot and 138 were killed. Yet our government officials can’t seem to accept the obvious problem at hand: guns.
Our own president couldn’t even admit that guns are a problem. Instead, he decided to focus on the fact that the shooter had mental health issues that weren’t reported to the authorities.
While poor mental health is also an important issue that needs attention, we can't use it to hide from the obvious.
Also, if I remember correctly, Mr. Trump, didn’t you just sign a bill in February 2017 making it easier for mentally ill people to buy a gun?
How many more innocent people need to die before we decide enough is enough? Literally, nothing is being done by Congress to put a stop to this gun violence and it is utterly absurd.
After Sandy Hook, President Obama tried to reinforce bans on assault weapons that were in place between 1994 and 2004, but Congress wouldn’t pass it again since the Columbine shooting in 1999 still managed to occur with the ban in place.
So you know, even though the number of mass shootings was reduced tremendously during the ban, one still happened so it’s only smart throw the whole ban away and have absolutely nothing in place to help!
Since the ban on assault weapons expired, the following 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern US history have occurred:
April 16, 2007 - Blacksburg, VA - Seung-Hui Cho opens fire on the Virginia Tech campus killing 32 people
April 3, 2009 - Binghamton, NY - Jiverly Wong opens fire on an immigrant community center killing 13 people and injuring 4
November 5, 2009 - Fort Hood, TX - Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan opens fire on an American military base killing 13 people and injuring 32
July 20, 2012 - Aurora, CO - James E. Holmes opens fire in a movie theater killing 24 people
December 14, 2012 - Newtown, CT - Adam Lanza opens fire in Sandy Hook Elementary School killing 20 children and 6 adults
September 16, 2013 - Washington D.C. - Aaron Alexis opens fire in the Washington Navy Yard killing 12 people
December 2, 2015 - San Bernardino, CA - Syed Rizwan Farook and Tasheen Malik open fire at Inland Regional Center killing 14 people
June 12, 2016 - Orlando, FL - Omar Saddiqui Mateen opens fire inside of Pulse nightclub killing 49 people and injuring more than 50
October 1, 2017 - Las Vegas, NV - Stephen Paddock opens fire at a crowd of 22,000 concertgoers killing 58 people and injuring nearly 500
November 5, 2017 - Sutherland Springs, TX - Devin Patrick Kelley opens fire on a small church killing 25 people and an unborn child and injuring 20
If you can look at this list and for some reason still think we don’t need stricter gun laws then you, my friend… you are part of the problem.
No offense (full offense actually), but children’s rights to feel safe and not have to worry about being murdered at school are more important than your right to own whatever type of gun you want.
The same goes for people attending a concert or church. These are all places that are meant to be a safe zone. Unless you’re serving in the military to protect our country, there is quite literally no reason at all why you need to own an assault weapon. It’s as simple as that.
When it comes to events like these, thoughts and prayers are always good but we can’t just pray and debate with our friends on social media and then forget about it later when nothing is done.
We need to stop falling into the same cycle over and over again.
We need change.
We need gun control.
We need it now.