Parkland Shooting Remembered One Year Later

Sinziana Stanciu, 20’

As Valentine’s Day comes closer and closer, every person is distracted by the chocolate, heart decorations, and constant complaints of single people. However, one year ago, on Valentine’s day, a shooting happened in a high school in Parkland, Florida. 17 people were murdered and 17 injured, so what happened after this horrible Valentine’s Day? Teenagers around the country rallied in the protest collectively known as the March for Our Lives, and we demonstrated that the future generation is in need of gun reform. Every time there is a shooting it becomes more and more difficult to bear the loss of young life. However, not one policy has changed by Congress as a result of the events that happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, one year ago this month. David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez are among the teenage survivors of this shooting, and they have been beyond proactive on trying to amplify their voices louder than that of the money coming from the National Rifle Association.

Having walked out of school on March 14th, the one month after the shooting, it felt as if there was a change in the air. Everyone was still discussing the shooting, the walkout drew attention, and overall it was a successful effort. But, one year later, many people have completely forgotten about this issue and will ignore it until another shooting happens again. Even the March for Our Lives movement doesn’t have any more tour dates up for this year, which is beyond disheartening. These shootings have become far too commonplace for us to not consider further reform. Why is it left up to teenagers such as Hogg and Gonzalez to stir up the feelings needed for reform? All I, as a teenager, am asking for are a few simple changes which would make it more difficult for assault weapons to be obtained and thus save the lives of countless teens like me. For example, the basic background checks sound like one of the most reasonable requirements for getting a gun. A person who has committed serious crimes in the past should not have the ability to own an AR-15 gun. Background checks including psychiatric evaluations are simply sensible if we want to stop these horrible events

Although Congress did not step up to the job of protecting children around the country, states have passed new legislation in relation to gun reform. 69 legislations were passed across America, three in New York State, and by both Democratic and Republican states. However, there were also 9 legislative policies passed that loosened gun laws (New York Times). After such a horrible event, effective policies were passed at state levels and many politicians had to change their positions on gun control, but, there has still been absolutely no change on a federal level. If we truly want this change we can not wait until there is another shooting for us to remember that there needs to be a change. As a population, we can not forget the 17 of Parkland, because their deaths should not have been in vain. Alyssa Alhadeff, 14, Scott Beigel, 35, Martin Duque, 14, Nicholas Dworet, 17, Aaron Feis, 37, Jaime Guttenberg, 14, Chris Hixon, 49, Luke Hoyer, 15, Cara Loughran, 14, Gina Montalto, 14, Joaquin Oliver, 17, Alaina Petty, 14, Meadow Pollack, 18, Helena Ramsay, 17, Alex Schachter, 14,Carmen Schentrup, 16, Peter Wang, 15 (Miami Herald).