When 27 young schoolchildren and teachers were killed in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012, many in the United States thought the country could come together around this terrible tragedy and decide to implement some common sense gun reforms. Even as the right constantly attributed school shootings to mental health, many states across the country passed magazine capacity limits and other restrictions. Yet Florida, with a governor that says “the 2nd amendment didn’t kill anyone,” has now suffered two of the highest-casualty mass shooting events in United States history.
This lack of concern and action has led many schools to have school shooting drill rehearsals in an attempt to mitigate the inevitable loss of life these massacres bring. Melissa Falkowski, a teacher at Marjory Stoneman High School, says her students couldn’t have been more prepared. She described how every student was fully briefed on what to expect, and then, breaking down in tears, said, “And still we have 17 people who aren’t going to return to their families.”
Ms. Falkowski then added that the situation is “unacceptable” and begs Congress to do something. When still shell-shocked survivors are having to beg for protection from our government, you know something is wrong.
This particular shooting stands out for a couple of reasons. The first is that the shooter was reported to the FBI because he left a comment on a YouTube video detailing his aspirations to be a “professional school shooter.” Usually, the FBI is able to track down a suspect and determine their threat. However, the FBI couldn’t determine the identity of the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, solely based on his screen name on YouTube — which is odd because his screen name is NikolasCruz. But perhaps that’s a very common name in America. I did a database search for “Nikolas Cruz” and returned…..exactly two results.
The second oddity of this story is that Nikolas Cruz received “paramilitary” training from a white nationalist organization, the Republic of Florida. This is the first time a shooter has sought out specific training before committing an attack. Additionally, Marco Rubio received a briefing and said Cruz “designed and executed the attack to maximize loss of life.” Cruz used smoke grenades and pulled the fire alarm to sow confusion — even slipping away after the shooting in the crowd of students.
Are these the actions of someone who’s merely “mentally ill,” or does the fact that the charges against Cruz after this shooting include premeditation mean that he was fully in charge of his faculties?
How many more students have to die? Or after Newtown have we decided it’s open season on our children, as long as we still have our guns?
That seems to be what this teacher wants to know:
I hope ever member of Congress saw this interview
Melissa Falkowski, teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas explains how well prepared they were and how many times they drilled for this and still there was nothing they can do
She breaks down when she begs Congress to do something pic.twitter.com/J6y9MK8b0V
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) February 15, 2018
Featured image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images