What happened at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas School a little over a year ago has changed the face of how America sees the face of gun control, how violence in schools has become a household subject, and how teenagers can rally around a cause. Much talk has occurred, but we forget how long it takes to enact change in our society. The students of MSD have begun a movement that is difficult to ignore. Here is a look at last year at this time compared to what they have initiated in these United States.
VALENTINE’S DAY, 2018, ONE YEAR AGO:
Nikolas Cruz walked into Marjorie Stoneman Douglas (MSD) School with a semiautomatic rifle. In just 6 minutes he had shot and killed 17 students and staff and 17 more were wounded. This changed the lives of the students at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas School forever! They became activists against Gun Violence and the NEVER AGAIN MOVEMENT MSD was born! The students organized student walk-outs at schools across the nation and a “March for Our Lives” walk in DC and around the country. Marches drew more than one million people. The movement produced two books: David Hogg and his younger sister, Lauren wrote a book, entitled #NeverAgain: A New Generation Draws the Line. Other students wrote a book entitled: Glimmer of Hope: How Tragedy Sparked a Movement. Nikolas Cruz is being held in prison without bail.
VALENTINE’S DAY, 2019, A YEAR LATER:
The teens haven’t stopped working, urging young people to register and vote. They lobbied for tighter restrictions on firearms. They challenged the National Rifle Association and the politicians who support it. The students who arrived at school on this Valentine’s Day in 2019, a year later, wore MSD maroon attire and brought flowers not for their friends but for the memorial garden in front of the school. The garden “Project Grow Garden” is a peaceful place where flowers bloom, candles burn and colorful rocks display these words: “Parkland heals together” and “Love Heals All”! The Broward County Superintendent held a news conference at the school. He addressed the progress made in the past year to increase school security district-wide. The Superintendent gave the students and families the opportunity to spend the day in the manner in which they wanted. Students who chose to attend school for the half day participated in service projects Linda Beigel Schulman, the mother of Scott Beigel, the geography teacher who died a hero one year ago when he saved students. Spoke at the press conference and said: “Today never really had to happen. I believe reasonable gun control legislation must be passed in every state.”
In the Congress of the United States, HR 8 has emerged as one of the first pieces of gun violence prevention legislation up in the House of Representatives. This bill is “To require a background check for every firearm sale”, turn ordinary gun loans into felonies, ban handguns for young adults, and authorizes fees. This is a positive step towards gun safety for the common good. If you agree that this is a direction to go, call your senators and representatives and let them know that you want this law passed.