What the School Shooting in Florida Says About Gun Laws and Mental Illness


Valentine’s Day was a devastating day this year for residents of Parkland, Florida, as 17 people died during a school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The gunman was 19 year old Nikolas Cruz, who was expelled from the school and came in on Valentine’s day with a loaded AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle. Parents, students, and members of the community are demanding stricter gun laws, because according to the Toronto Star, Cruz excelled in an air-marksmanship program support by a grant from the NRA. Many are stating that policies need to be changed, and that a 19 year old should not have access to buy military-style guns – and they are absolutely right.

According to CNN, one student stated,

We certainly do not understand why it should be harder to make plans with friends on weekends than to buy an automatic or semi-automatic weapon. Maybe the adults have got used to saying ‘It is what it is’, but if us students have learned anything, it’s that if you don’t study, you will fail. And in this case if you actively do nothing, people continually end up dead.”

President Trump blamed the FBI, stating that they are too focused on the presidential campaign and did not take enough action on the clues submitted about Cruz before. He stated,

Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter.”

There are several major points to consider here: gun laws should be stricter, schools should incorporate more security, information regarding suspicious activity should be reported quickly, and mental health concerns should be addressed as warning signs emerge. This devastating, tragic event has caused so much grief among the community and the United States. Students want this to be the last mass school shooting, but it will only be so if more precautionary measures are taken.

Sources say that Nikolas Cruz showed major warning signs dating back several years – he has a history with taking enjoyment from violence and pain and destroying property. If these signs would have been treated earlier, the shooting may not have occurred. Furthermore, had gun laws been in stricter stance, Cruz may not have been able to obtain the gun he used to killed 17 innocent people. We can only hope that our country takes action towards preventing tragic events such as this.

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