It's More Than A Year Later, And My Heart Still Hurts For Parkland

It's More Than A Year Later, And My Heart Still Hurts For Parkland

Yes, February 14th was a hard day for anyone from Broward, but for those individuals EVERY day is a hard day.


I will never forget when I found out about the shooting that occurred at MSD. I was in my high school English class, and got bored and decided to go on Twitter. There, I was overwhelmed with what I saw.

There have unfortunately been many shootings, all over the United States, and this was not the first school shooting, and it won't be the last. This one was just different, for me, it was the first one that I was immediately made aware of, and then followed for updates constantly. By the time I was usually made aware of a shooting it was in the following days once everything had occurred. But for this one, I felt as if I was in Florida. I was glued to my phone, waiting for any updates. They had no confirmed anything, just reports of open gunshots.

Videos surfaced in the hours following, and death tolls started to pile in. On February 14th, 2018, 17 individuals lost their lives. I was bothered, and extremely upset. I watched the news reports on it, read the posts from the grieving loved ones, and felt pain in my heart.

Coming into college, it did not even cross my mind that these people who experienced this trauma would soon be my peers. I mean I'm from a small town in New Jersey, and I picked a school two hours away from Broward in Florida.

At my college orientation a girl sat across from me as we were finalizing our major information on the computers, she asked my major and I responded with "communication, you?" She looked at me and said the following, " because of prior incidents that occurred within the past few months I have made the decision to pursue political science instead of following my passion for English."

I was puzzled, I looked at her and went, "I'm sorry, but I'm confused? What occurred?" she looked at me with eyes that showed hurt on a level I have never seen, and replied: "I went to Stony Douglas."

From that day on I have encountered many individuals who went to Stony Douglas, and I can tell you one thing. They all still feel that pain from that day. To pretend like they don't is ridiculous.

This isn't a political article- but more of a wake-up call.

We bring attention to Stony Douglas for this one day, a year later, but what about every other day. I have now lifetime friends who carry that trauma on their shoulders, and no amount of therapy or support will ever mend that damage that is done.

We can offer our love to them, and our condolences, but I'm letting you know that it will never erase that day. People lost their brother, their sister, their father, their best friends on that day. I don't know what we as a country is supposed to do, but how many more people have to suffer until we wake up.

How many more innocent individuals have to die? How many more kids have to live in constant fear that their school is next?

To Broward county as a whole,

Know that I stand with you. I offer you my support in any way you need. You are built up of the strongest individuals out there. My heart hurts for you every day. I can't imagine the pain you feel, just know that you are in my thoughts always.

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The Internet Has Had Enough With Kaitlin Bennett, And So Have I

I think the internet has had enough of her tomfoolery.


Kaitlin Bennett, a Kent State University student has literally lit social media on fire over her very conservative views and her ideologies and frankly? I'm done.

Earlier this year, a viral photo of Kaitlin Bennett carrying an AR-15 for her graduation photos at Kent State University ignited Twitter as she decided to voice her opinions on the whole topic of the conceal/carry laws. The time she had been posting the photos and her strong opinions, was around the time the gun control debate was high in conversation in light of the recent shooting in the Parkland high school as conservatives were pushing legislation to allow people with conceal-carry licenses, to be able to carry in all 50 states.

The everlasting issue of Gun Control has been ongoing since the time of the Columbine High School shooting in April of '99; it had died for a little bit, but it was sparked back up with the 2008 Aurora theater shooting, when a person who was deemed mentally ill had gone into a theater during a premiere of a Batman movie and decided to open fire and take several lives. Shootings such as Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, and many others have claimed the lives of innocent people and the question of where do we draw the line with gun rights and who can own a gun and what are the qualifications to own a gun?

The internet has a giant influence on people and their beliefs with pressing issues such as gun control, as the internet has millions upon millions of users who are voicing their opinions about these governmental issues when the people in power won't talk about the situations and keep them hush-hush. But, sometimes the internet can have too much to say, and in the case of Kaitlin Bennett? Sometimes it's best to just keep your mouth shut.

A conservative with strong feelings about her 'right side' views and the concept of gun control, Kaitlin is known for voicing her strong, very right sided opinions on her twitter and rarely when reading the comments, do I see someone supporting her and her thoughts. I usually see people who aren't feeling her vibe and ultimately are sick of her tweeting and want her to deactivate. In her photo, Bennett says she chose to carry her assault weapon to pose a stronger symbol of being able to arm yourself. Her photo happened to take place on the same campus where fifty years prior, the Ohio National Guard opened fire on a crowd that was protesting the Vietnam War.

(photo above is taken from someone's Instagram who seems to support Kaitlin and her views, editing her picture into a Nike ad after Kaepernick's Nike campaign was released.)

She has appeared on Fox News, defending herself as people are saying she's 'proudly' displaying her white privilege. People have commented on things such as, "If a person of color were to walk around campus with a gun, the whole entire police force would come and shoot them in a second". With this photo being taken, others felt like it was a huge slap to the face and displayed being a gun advocate in a wrong way.

As of recently, Bennett has been going to rallies with her views, asking people, (typically those who are considered to be on the 'left' side), why they are the way they are, or basically trying to shove authority in people's faces. Kaitlin has ultimately come to the conclusion that people who are against the gun control laws we have now are just crybabies who think that the gun control laws we have now need reform (which I mean they do, but, I'll maybe share that later). She likes to point the finger at those who protest President Trump and basically try to bring them down and use the concept of "I carry a gun, so I can shoot at any time" as her threat. But, honestly? Just because she carries a damn gun, doesn't mean anything.

The fact that she is threatening people with her conceal-carry is childish and petty. She claims when she went to a Trump protest in Erie, the people just wanted to scream at her and hold signs in her face, while she spat offensive things and even made a fat joke towards a woman. Her, "You know I carry, right?" threat means nothing. People have been cracking jokes online about Kaitlin's petty threat; Bennett tries to defend herself, but it's done very poorly and I feel sorry for her, honestly.

Trump Protesters in Erie are Emotionally Unhinged

So my piece of advice to Miss Kaitlin? Sometimes it's best to ignore the notifications on your phone, ignore the tweets and messages you're receiving because no matter what you're going to say, everyone knows it's going to be something about a left side person being a baby or a wimp or how they can't hold themselves up. I would also advise you to please educate yourself on the concept of feminism before you start connecting feminism to gun rights; you're just making yourself look bad. I add this point with Kaitlin connecting gun rights to women's rights because as someone who is going to school with a minor in Women's and Gender Studies, I feel that Kaitlin has the whole concept of feminism all wrong.

Feminism is technically defined as "A belief that men and women are inherent of equal worth." Yes, the initial concept of feminism was protesting for women's rights, how it was advocacy for the rights of women. So the idea of Kaitlin trying to incorporate 'women's rights' into gun rights is almost misleading? She says that feminists (which I'm assuming she's just pointing to females), are against arming women to maintain the idea that women are victims. She has it all wrong, and I just want people to be more educated on topics before they speak on them. So Kaitlin? Lock the phone, shut the computer, and continue on with your day.

We get it, you love the second amendment and love this negative limelight you're in, and we get that you carry. We really get it. Please, shut up. Please, stop talking. I don't ever get annoyed this much by people but with her? She's a big no from me.

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2,044 Mass Shootings Have Followed Sandy Hook, Yet That's Still Not 'Enough' For Us To Take Action

With momentary sadness followed by disgusting ease, we are able to push these tragedies aside faster and faster as they become a foreseen reality.


On December 14th, 2012, our country was in disbelief as 20 children and 6 adults lives were lost to a gunman who took their lives as well as his own at Sandy Hook Elementary school. On this day, each of us vowed that an event of this demeanor has no place in our world and that we would do everything in our power to make sure it never happens again.

Fast forward 7 years and mass shootings are popping up on the news day after day. As months roll on, it has become easier as a society to normalize these shootings, which is a red flag I never thought possible.

In June 2016, we witnessed the deadliest mass shooting in the United State's history at a nightclub in Orlando, leaving 50 dead on the scene. In between Sandy Hook and this shooting, there were 994 others. 994, let that sink in.

After Orlando, in October 2017, a shooting at a Las Vegas music festival saw 59 dead, becoming the new deadliest shooting in the U.S.

Most recently, a school shooting in Denver has left eight students injured and one 18 years old dead on May 7, 2019. This was preceded by a school shooting in North Carolina only days earlier, where 2 individuals lives were taken and 4 were injured.

As a citizen, it's easier to start distancing yourself from these overwhelmingly sad yet continuous occurrences, telling yourself that "this will be the last one" or that "maybe this will really make the laws change." Yet, no one and no place seems to be safe from these heartbreaking events.

From the most liberal places in California to the reddest southern states and all those in between, there is no pattern to these mass murders. No background or economic status has protected the thousands of innocent people from being taken from us way before their time.

About a month ago, I experienced the scare first hand at my school, the University of Michigan. We were told to go into hiding as police described suspects carrying concealed weapons on campus, with the news that there had been shots fired on the main campus. 4 hours into hiding, we were told that the alert was a false alarm, however, this day showed the disturbing reality of how anyone's life could change in a matter of milliseconds. Saddest of all was the overwhelming amount of times I heard "I knew it would happen here eventually" and "I always thought it would happen on a game day." No student should live in a world where they are expectant of a tragedy like this.

Mass killings of our countries people isn't a political issue. Mass killings of innocent children, teachers, friends, and loved ones should not be a fight between parties. After Sandy Hook, we said enough was enough. Years later, we're still turning on the news to see more lives taken, and the sentiment has been lost.

I've been fortunate enough to not have lost a friend, family member or peer in these 2,043 shootings. As someone who has gone through a false alarm, I can't imagine the reality of having to live on after a freak incident, especially one where you lose a loved one or a fellow community member.

2,044 mass shootings in 7 years, totaling 2,317 deaths and leaving over 8,000 injured. It's time we stand together, put aside our differences and work towards the only thing that should matter: never letting those with these cruel intentions have the opportunity to commit these crimes, and saving innocent lives in the memory of those we have already lost.

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