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Remembering the lives lost in the Parkland school shooting

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It’s been four years since 17 students and staff were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, 2018.Seventeen others were injured.The gunman, Nikolas Cruz, assembled his AR-15 rifle in the stairwell and opened fire in the “freshman building.” “Be advised we have possible, could be firecrackers. I think we got shots fired. Possible shots fired, 1200 building,” could be heard on the radio communications.Cruz eventually dropped the gun and fled by blending in with the other students as police stormed the building. He was captured an hour later walking through a neighborhood.Shortly after he was arrested, he confessed and said the voices in his head told him to do it.The FBI came forward in the days after the shooting, saying they had received tips about Cruz.Video below: Cruz interrogation video releasedIn the fall of 2021, the shooter pleaded guilty to all charges connected to the school shooting. Prosecutors now plan to seek the death penalty.For many families, they said there will never be closure for the loss of their loved ones.Students and families turned into activists. Jim Gard, a math teacher that day, said they were all victims.“These kids that were in the class, just because they weren’t hit doesn’t mean they weren’t hit,” he said.And since that day, so many of those victims have refused to just sit back and do nothing. In the days following the shooting, a movement called March For Our Lives was born.David Hogg was one of the founders.“When we started doing the march, we thought there would be about 90 people that we could get up to DC,” Hogg said. “We got near a million.”Four years later, March For Our Lives is still going strong with chapters across the country.They’ve helped pass state laws designed to keep guns away from violent offenders. They’ve worked to get more federal funding to control gun violence.Video below: March For Our Lives in Washington, D.C. It’s become a full-time job nobody wants.“We want our job to be done so we can go back to being college students or high school students and young people and young professionals,” Hogg said.When they watched the Parkland shooter plead guilty to the murders he committed, both Hogg and Gard were pleased to see this chapter end.Video below: Cruz pleads guilty in courtThey just ask you not to call it closure.“It’s the parents of the kids, the parents who lost their children, I don’t know if there can ever be closure on that,” Gard said. “I know for a lot of the people that I talked to, families that I talked to, there is not closure that can come. There’s nothing that will ever bring their kids back, their siblings back, their best friends back.”Video below: Cruz makes statement to court, familiesThe Broward County School District announced in Dec. 2021 that it will pay more than $26 million to the families of the victims.”While we recognize no amount of money can make these families whole, it is the school board’s hope that this settlement will show our heartfelt commitment to the MSD families, students, staff, faculty and to the entire Broward County community,” said Marylin Batista, the board’s interim general counsel. President Joe Biden released a statement Monday morning, saying in part:”On this difficult day, we mourn with the Parkland families whose lives were upended in an instant; who had to bury a piece of their soul deep in the earth. We pray too for those still grappling with wounds both visible and invisible. And, as we remember those lost in Parkland, we also stand with Americans in every corner of our country who have lost loved ones to gun violence or had their lives forever altered by a shooting, in tragedies that made headlines and in ones that did not.”Out of the heartbreak of Parkland a new generation of Americans all across the country marched for our lives and towards a better, safer America for us all. Together, this extraordinary movement is making sure that the voices of victims and survivors and responsible gun owners are louder than the voices of gun manufacturers and the National Rifle Association.” Remembering those whose lives were lostCan’t see the visual? Click here.If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, call 211 or the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

It’s been four years since 17 students and staff were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, 2018.

Seventeen others were injured.

The gunman, Nikolas Cruz, assembled his AR-15 rifle in the stairwell and opened fire in the “freshman building.”

“Be advised we have possible, could be firecrackers. I think we got shots fired. Possible shots fired, 1200 building,” could be heard on the radio communications.

Cruz eventually dropped the gun and fled by blending in with the other students as police stormed the building. He was captured an hour later walking through a neighborhood.

Shortly after he was arrested, he confessed and said the voices in his head told him to do it.

The FBI came forward in the days after the shooting, saying they had received tips about Cruz.

Video below: Cruz interrogation video released

In the fall of 2021, the shooter pleaded guilty to all charges connected to the school shooting. Prosecutors now plan to seek the death penalty.

For many families, they said there will never be closure for the loss of their loved ones.

Students and families turned into activists.

Jim Gard, a math teacher that day, said they were all victims.

“These kids that were in the class, just because they weren’t hit doesn’t mean they weren’t hit,” he said.

And since that day, so many of those victims have refused to just sit back and do nothing. In the days following the shooting, a movement called March For Our Lives was born.

David Hogg was one of the founders.

“When we started doing the march, we thought there would be about 90 people that we could get up to DC,” Hogg said. “We got near a million.”

Four years later, March For Our Lives is still going strong with chapters across the country.

They’ve helped pass state laws designed to keep guns away from violent offenders. They’ve worked to get more federal funding to control gun violence.

Video below: March For Our Lives in Washington, D.C.

It’s become a full-time job nobody wants.

“We want our job to be done so we can go back to being college students or high school students and young people and young professionals,” Hogg said.

When they watched the Parkland shooter plead guilty to the murders he committed, both Hogg and Gard were pleased to see this chapter end.

Video below: Cruz pleads guilty in court


They just ask you not to call it closure.

“It’s the parents of the kids, the parents who lost their children, I don’t know if there can ever be closure on that,” Gard said. “I know for a lot of the people that I talked to, families that I talked to, there is not closure that can come. There’s nothing that will ever bring their kids back, their siblings back, their best friends back.”

Video below: Cruz makes statement to court, families

The Broward County School District announced in Dec. 2021 that it will pay more than $26 million to the families of the victims.

“While we recognize no amount of money can make these families whole, it is the school board’s hope that this settlement will show our heartfelt commitment to the MSD families, students, staff, faculty and to the entire Broward County community,” said Marylin Batista, the board’s interim general counsel.

President Joe Biden released a statement Monday morning, saying in part:

“On this difficult day, we mourn with the Parkland families whose lives were upended in an instant; who had to bury a piece of their soul deep in the earth. We pray too for those still grappling with wounds both visible and invisible. And, as we remember those lost in Parkland, we also stand with Americans in every corner of our country who have lost loved ones to gun violence or had their lives forever altered by a shooting, in tragedies that made headlines and in ones that did not.

“Out of the heartbreak of Parkland a new generation of Americans all across the country marched for our lives and towards a better, safer America for us all. Together, this extraordinary movement is making sure that the voices of victims and survivors and responsible gun owners are louder than the voices of gun manufacturers and the National Rifle Association.”

Remembering those whose lives were lost

Can’t see the visual? Click here.

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, call 211 or the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.



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