Skip Nav
Brett Kavanaugh News and Sexual Assault Allegation
Opinion
We Can't Let Men Accused of Sexual Assault Appropriate Victimhood
Michelle Obama When We All Vote PSA September 2018
Michelle Obama
"Why Bother" Voting? Michelle Obama Has a Few Reasons For You
How Are Black Women Discriminated Against in 2018
Politics
Black Women Are Exhausted
Personal Essay on Choosing an American Name
Alicia Silverstone
My English Name Was Inspired by My Favorite Childhood Actress, and I Don't Regret It One Bit
Why Do People Like to Scare Themselves?
Halloween
Why Do We Love to Scare Ourselves? An Expert on Fright Has Some Surprising Answers

Parkland, Florida School Shooting on Feb. 14, 2018

Everything You Need to Know About the Florida School Shooting


On Feb. 14, the total number of school shootings in 2018 expanded to 18 as a result of a shooting in Parkland, FL. The shooting occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and took the lives of 17 people, injuring as many as 14 others. The shooting was so devastating that it is now among the 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern American history.

The attacker has been identified as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, a former Marjory Stoneman Douglas student with a history of violence. The FBI had been made aware of Cruz's YouTube comments about school shootings in September 2017. Cruz had been expelled from school, had a history of threatening students, and was known to post photos of weapons on Instagram. He used an AR-15 — a semiautomatic assault rifle — in the attack. Cruz was reportedly showing signs of depression and living with a friend after the recent deaths of both his parents. He is set to be charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

The incident occurred not long before the high school was set to break for the day, at around 2:30 p.m. local time. The shooting started outside of the school, where 12 people were killed, before continuing inside. Videos of SWAT teams entering classrooms full of frightened students have emerged online, revealing a visceral, explicit look at the violence by way of firsthand accounts. Similarly, stories of individual heroism from the shooting have circulated, including that of the school's assistant football coach, Aaron Feis, who died shielding students from gunfire.

ADVERTISEMENT

As the town and state continue to address the situation and the country watches, the voices of students and faculty from Marjory Stoneman Douglas have resonated most, offering sharp, vivid responses and calls for action on gun policy in real time. Students have taken to Twitter, sharing stories of survival and demanding gun control and reform. One student, David Hogg, has gone viral after an interview with CNN in which he highlighted how bad the situation in America is before noting "some of our policymakers . . . need to look in the mirror and take some action." Similarly, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas teacher, Melissa Falkowski, spoke with Anderson Cooper, explaining that the school had done all they could to prevent a shooting by recently training students and teachers on how to react — and that it didn't help. "I feel today like our government, our country, has failed us," Falkowski said, "and failed our kids and didn't keep us safe."

The violence at Marjory Stoneman Douglas has also highlighted state gun laws and the uncomfortable connections between politicians and support from the National Rifle Association (NRA), the leading gun rights nonprofit in America, which pulled a Valentine's Day retweet in response to the shooting. In Florida, you don't need a permit or license to buy a gun, which is likely how Cruz bought the AR-15 for his attack entirely legally. The weapon was "designed to kill multiple enemy combatants at once" and has been described by a Fox News talking head as "a very safe weapon" in the network's reporting on the shooting.

As expected, politicians' responses to the attack have been divided. Democrats are largely calling for gun reform while Republicans chirp out thoughts and prayers. President Donald Trump, who scolded Marjory Stoneman Douglas students for failing to report Cruz, gave a speech on Feb. 15 in which he called for a "plan that works" for solving the problem, but did not mention gun control specifically. It should also be noted that Trump, among other Republican lawmakers, has given multiple speeches in recent years at NRA summits. Similarly, Republicans received $5.9 million from gun rights groups in the 2016 election cycle and millions in general from the NRA alone. Under President Trump and the GOP-led government, several efforts have been made to loosen gun control laws while efforts for reform have been largely ignored.

Mass shootings continue to be a uniquely American phenomena, with hundreds of citizens dying in these events annually.

If you'd like to help victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, a GoFundMe has been created to benefit victims of the shooting.

Image Source: Getty / Mark Wilson
From Our Partners
Michelle Obama When We All Vote PSA September 2018
Brett Kavanaugh News and Sexual Assault Allegation
Michelle Obama Becoming Book Tour Details 2018
Photo of the Freedom Tower From the Sky on Sept. 11, 2018
Barack Obama Welcomes Joe Biden Back to Instagram 2018
Sen. Kamala Harris Questioning Brett Kavanaugh
Lesbian Couple Paints Their House Rainbow
Common When We All Vote Video
How Are Black Women Discriminated Against in 2018
Celeb Reactions to Colin Kaepernick's Nike Campaign
End Family Fire Ad Council Campaign
Essay About Why I'm Considering Homeschooling
From Our Partners
Latest News
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds