Story of the Week: After Parkland – More of the same… or a change?

For this post, I have decided to take a step back and let the people that are part of the story, speak for themselves.  Where I stand on this horrific act of violence is of little consequence compared to the headlines and quotes below.

The New York Times Headline: After Sandy Hook, More Than 400 People Have Been Shot in Over 200 School Shootings
The Miami Herald Headline: Rifle type used in school massacre ‘designed to kill multiple enemy combatants at once’
The USA Today Headline: Students plan to walk out of schools to protest gun laws

Reaction from the community in Florida:

Unidentified, student from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, on what her thoughts of gun control were as massacre was unfolding: “If you looked around this closet and saw everyone just hiding together, you would know that this shouldn’t be happening anymore, and that it doesn’t deserve to happen to anyone, and that no amount of money should make it more easily accessible to get guns”.

Ty Thompson, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Principal: “We lost 17 lives on Valentine’s Day. That’s supposed to be the international day of love… We’re going to take the love that we got lost on Wednesday and we’re going to spread that over the next days, weeks, months and maybe even years.”

Andrew Pollack, father of victim Meadow Pollack: “This is just unimaginable to think I will never see my princess again…This piece of s— killed my kid, and I couldn’t do anything about it. That’s never happened to me in my life. I’m always able to protect my family in any situation.”

The President of the United States: Donald Trump (Republican) via Twitter

02/17/2018: “Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign – there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!”

02/16/2018: “Our entire Nation, w/one heavy heart, continues to pray for the victims & their families in Parkland, FL. To teachers, law enforcement, first responders & medical professionals who responded so bravely in the face of danger: We THANK YOU for your courage!”

02/15/2018: “So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!”

Other politicians react:

Florida US Senator, Marco Rubio (Republican): “I think you can always have that debate,” Rubio said of gun rights. “But if you’re gonna have that debate about this particular incident you should know the facts of that incident before you run out and prescribe some law that you claim could have prevented it.”

Florida US Senator, Bill Nelson (Democrat): “At some point, we’ve got to say enough is enough… At some point we, as a society, have to come together and put a stop to this…To those who say it’s not the time to talk about gun violence because it’s too soon, we don’t want to politicize right after a tragedy … then I would ask, when is the right time?”

Florida Governor, Rick Scott (Republican):  “There’s a time to continue to have these conversations about how through law enforcement, how through mental illness funding that we make sure that people are safe.”

Ohio Governor, John Kasich (Republican): “Of course the president can lead on this and should lead on this, and Mr. President, I ask you to do this… You don’t have to boil the ocean, but take some steps now… I believe those who are Second Amendment advocates realize that common-sense, real reforms can happen in this country to answer the cries and the anguish of people all across this country who have lost loved ones.”

A NOD TO CHANGE:

March for Our Lives: “School safety is not a political issue. There cannot be two sides to doing everything in our power to ensure the lives and futures of children who are at risk of dying when they should be learning, playing, and growing.  The mission and focus of March For Our Lives is to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues.”