Florida School Shooting: Hundreds Attend Gun Rally

February 18, 2018

Chants of “Enough is enough!” reverberated down the street as hundreds of people gathered for a gun-control rally on the steps of the federal courthouse in Ft. Lauderdale, in response to a mass shooting at a Broward County high school on Wednesday.

Saturday’s speakers included students and teachers who survived the horrific event at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland — the second-deadliest mass school shooting in the nation’s history — along with state and local elected officials and others.

“I am not here as a candidate for governor, I am here as a mom,” Democratic gubernatorial Gwen Graham said. “And I have had it. I have had it. As a mom I am crushed. Enough. Enough. Enough.”

The League of Women Voters of Florida organized the rally to call for stricter gun control laws after gunman Nikolas Cruz shot dead 17 individuals — including 14 teenagers — using an assault weapon-style rifle.

Cruz, who was expelled from the high school, had such a troubled history that some of those who knew him weren’t surprised by his violent outburst. Authorities have charged the 19-year-old with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

“Sadly, my sister lost four of her friends and so many other friends and parents were lost that day, and it’s a terrible event,” said David Hogg, a student at the Parkland high school. “Now is the time that we say, ‘thank you for your prayers and condolences, but that is not enough.”

On Friday afternoon, the FBI acknowledged that it had failed to act on a tip about Cruz expressing concern about his erratic behavior.

Hogg was among the students and teachers who criticized Florida’s gun laws, questioning how individuals like Cruz are able to purchase semi-automatic weapons despite alerts to the FBI.

“Teachers should not fear for the lives of their children,” said Melissa Falkowski, the school’s journalism teacher who hid students inside a closet during the shooting.

Student Emma Gonzalez said shooting drills at schools could be stopped “when we have had our say with the government.”

“Maybe the adults have gotten used to saying, ‘it is what it is,’ but if us students have learned anything, it’s that if you don’t study, you will fail.  And in this case, if you actively do nothing, people continually will end up dead,” an impassioned Gonzalez said.

Congressman Ted Deutch, whose district includes Parkland, pledged to continue to fight for common-sense gun-control laws in Washington.

“Five years ago, elementary school kids were slaughtered at Sandy Hook, and there is silence out of Washington,” Deutch, a Democrat, said. “After the horrific mass shooting here in our community, that silence will not continue.”

Like others in the crowd, Western High School junior Isabella Wood and Tara Callahan, a teacher at Lyons Creek Middle School, expressed optimism after attending the rally.

But, they said, change needs to occur for schools to feel safe again.

“It makes me sad. I shouldn’t have to come out here today,” Callahan said, holding back tears. “I shouldn’t have to see small children here today. I shouldn’t have had to come here to see teenagers here today who don’t know (if) they’re going to be able to return to their parents.”

by Nathalie Sczublewski The News Service of Florida

Comments

25 Responses to “Florida School Shooting: Hundreds Attend Gun Rally”

  1. Sammy on February 21st, 2018 7:23 pm

    Look how much money is spent to help other countries on safety. But our own children can not be protected. This country doesn’t believe in helping children. I’m just waiting for someone to start saying we are wasting money on our schools safety. Like if people have a hard time with children getting free lunch at school I really don’t expect them to agree on extra anything for them.

  2. Simmerdown on February 20th, 2018 12:15 pm

    @everyone again: Please take some time to read what I’ve written before you answer. Nowhere did I say these attacks were committed with automatic weapons. I said you’re comfortable with automatic weapons being banned. You are not out protesting because you can’t own RPG’s. You have accepted that the 2nd Amendment does not protect you from some infringement of your rights to keep and bear arms. Right?
    @ Oversight, Bama, and Sedition: I believe that polite disagreement can lead to understanding. I’m not dismissive or condescending to you. If you’d like to escalate the argument I think I can hold my own. Now, reread my post, and try to answer the question. Please.
    @ Brian, Cute, and not helpful. Do you feel that 246 deaths by rifle is an acceptable number?
    Peace!

  3. D.TR on February 20th, 2018 10:48 am

    Why are we still on the issue of gun control? Criminals will always find a way.
    Why aren’t people calling for the school board to allow specific teachers to carry? Shouldn’t teachers have the ability to defend themselves if they want to?

    The only reason people target these schools is because there is no one to shoot back.

    Let our teachers carry.

  4. Mike J. on February 20th, 2018 8:58 am

    I read somewhere that a drunk driver kills people and they get a DUI, we blame the person not the car. So why do people blame the gun and not the person? The difference is the intent of the person. I don’t think the drunk driver intends to kill.

    I agree that the gun laws should be changed, this 19-year-old should not have been allowed to buy any gun, let alone a semi-automatic rifle. The 19-year-old can’t buy alcohol, but he can get a gun?

  5. john on February 20th, 2018 6:41 am

    After a sweeping gun ban two decades ago now the UK has started banning knives, because more people are using them to commit crime.

  6. David Lamb on February 19th, 2018 11:19 pm

    @simmerdown Banning any weapon will only mean that those that want to commit ma helm will just use a different weapon. it wil also start the road to all weapons being banned
    This shooting and the other shootings have so many failures from school security/safety to law enforcement breakdowns that if not corrected will lead to more tragedy, many security measures need to be added at all schools. The principal said
    “there was only one entrance to the building > Where was the camera? Where was the monitor monitoring that camera? How did he enter unnoticed? A walk thru metal detector with loud alarm would have helped. Where was the security personnel? Even the dead coach with his gun would have helped.
    To destroy law abiding citizens rights because of the acts of a few is not a free society!

  7. EMD on February 19th, 2018 11:20 am

    Guns do not kill people. People kill people. If the government takes our guns, only lawbreakers and the government will have guns. That is what happens in countries just before the government shoots their own with their own guns, or kills dissenters in other inhumane ways. Our kids need to be educated about Communism, if it is not already too late. Our schools have pretty much been infiltrated with Communist thought. The brainwashing may already be complete. We need to educate our country about what Communism is really like. It sounds good in theory, but cannot work in a fallen world because of human nature. It has failed over and over and over again, but it still is not taught in school. Our schools seem to help with the indoctrination of our youth, and makes dupes out of our citizens.

  8. Tabby on February 19th, 2018 11:10 am

    I think we should ban spoons for making people obese. Really, saying we don’t need guns because we have LEOs is like saying we don’t need fire extinguishers because we have firemen.

  9. lewis t. on February 19th, 2018 8:14 am

    Wonder how many of those young people went home and threw away or deletedd all of their violent, mass killing, and war video games. Point is you have to change the people.

  10. Les Bridges on February 19th, 2018 8:00 am

    Random thoughts:

    Chicago and DC has the some of the toughest gun laws in the country and yet have some of the highest rates gun violence/homicide.

    If we outlaw guns we’ll then have to outlaw knives, baseball bats, swords, gasoline, cars, trucks, etc.

    And since these people think that laws are the answer maybe they should make schools gun free zones…just a thought.

  11. SF on February 19th, 2018 8:00 am

    @Simmer Down. Just to educate you a little bit, they are not automatic weapons. The problem people have is the magazine sizes. They believe that a 30 round clip is excessive. Well I happen to think selling cars such as Corvettes that run 200 mph are excessive but they still make them. I also think that cell phones while driving kills more people than guns. Either way I don’t want the same groups that are fine with abortion to lecture me when kids are tragically killed in an incident like this.

  12. Sedition on February 19th, 2018 7:32 am

    @Simmer down.

    If you, after all this time, STILL swallow the lies of ARs being “fully automatic or high powered weapons”, then you are beyond education.

  13. Bama on February 19th, 2018 5:22 am

    “@everyone It appears to be unanimous. We should do nothing. Again. If we had stopped selling “modern sporting rifles” after they were used in Aurora, Sandy Hook, Orlando, or Las Vegas some of those killed last week might still be alive. Before you try to explain the 2nd Amendment to me, explain to me why you’re comfortable with your rights to own fully automatic weapons being infringed. Maybe you’re not comfortable with that. Should there be any limits to what weapons people should have access to? Educate me.
    Peace!”"

    “Simmer Down” in your spare time do a little investigating and learn what a “fully automatic weapon” is and what it takes to own one and also what it costs to own one. The shooter used a SEMI automatic rifle.

  14. Brian on February 19th, 2018 4:39 am

    @Simmerdown Per the latest stats from the FBI the use of rifles used in homicides accounted for 246 deaths while the use of hands and feet accounted for 660. Maybe if we just cut everyone’s hands and feet off then we wouldn’t have all of those deaths.

  15. Oversight on February 19th, 2018 4:30 am

    “Before you try to explain the 2nd Amendment to me, explain to me why you’re comfortable with your rights to own fully automatic weapons being infringed.”

    Actually, if you knew anything about the law and the 2nd Amendment, you would know that you can not “own fully automatic weapons”. None of these shooting involved fully automatic weapons; however, people who are hell bent on mass death and destruction will find a way to carry it out – see the Oklahoma City bombing, 911 attacks, and the list goes on.

  16. Simmer Down on February 18th, 2018 11:52 pm

    @everyone It appears to be unanimous. We should do nothing. Again. If we had stopped selling “modern sporting rifles” after they were used in Aurora, Sandy Hook, Orlando, or Las Vegas some of those killed last week might still be alive. Before you try to explain the 2nd Amendment to me, explain to me why you’re comfortable with your rights to own fully automatic weapons being infringed. Maybe you’re not comfortable with that. Should there be any limits to what weapons people should have access to? Educate me.
    Peace!

  17. Concerned Citizen on February 18th, 2018 8:01 pm

    Schools are soft targets. Gun free zones. Perfect opportunity for someone wanting to kill. We need to have experienced, armed individuals protecting our schools. How about some veterans who need Work? Some teachers who aren’t part of the liberal agenda that are trained in firearm use, or maybe some people who just want to help?

    Concerned Citizen

  18. RC on February 18th, 2018 5:24 pm

    It’s sad that all these students were killed by someone that was on the FBI radar but ignored. That being said how many of these protesters or someone in their family owns a firearm

  19. CW on February 18th, 2018 3:27 pm

    “Its not the gun. Its the operator of the weapon. Its high time to quit being soft on criminals and those who use guns are part of the crimes. Its high time for the courts to allow the death penalty for career criminals and for those who opt to use or even display a firearm in the commission of crimes. No more sitting in prison bilking taxpayers for “3 hots and a cot.”

    The problem is most of the time these shooters commit suicide in the end, so being hard on criminals won’t work. Many of these shooters have no criminal record.

  20. anne 1of2 on February 18th, 2018 12:07 pm

    They did not handle all of the information on this loose-screw human correctly and they had plenty of warnings. Law abiding citizens will never forfeit their guns. We have to be able to defend ourselves against the criminal who will always have a gun.

  21. Brian on February 18th, 2018 11:52 am

    It would be nice if one more law could prevent anything bad from happening but I hate to tell these kids that you can’t outlaw evil.

  22. Jason on February 18th, 2018 9:19 am

    I feel for the families and friends of those killed in these shooting incidents. I shake my head every time these groups scream for more “gun control”. Why do they always blame the gun? The gun is an inanimate object that doesnt work without someone pulling the trigger. Why arent these folks casting the blame on the one subject who was opted to pull the trigger and misused the firearm?

    If this incident is the fault of the gun, why did they arrest the shooter? Shouldnt they have just locked up the gun and let the gun user (ie: shooter) go free?

    When folks demand more “gun control” after a mass shooting, why dont they demand stronger “border control” when people cross illegally into our country?

    If additional gun laws would solve this problem of “mass shootings”, why doesnt it work in areas with very strong gun laws such as Chicago? More than 249 shooting victims in the first 6 weeks in Chicago and not one person batted an eye….. But, let that happen in one incident and now we need “more gun control”.

    Its not the gun. Its the operator of the weapon. Its high time to quit being soft on criminals and those who use guns are part of the crimes. Its high time for the courts to allow the death penalty for career criminals and for those who opt to use or even display a firearm in the commission of crimes. No more sitting in prison bilking taxpayers for “3 hots and a cot.”

    #Rant_Over

  23. john on February 18th, 2018 8:08 am

    Why is it when I finished high school in 92′ you never heard of school shootings? and some students did have rifles in their gun racks on school property. That really wasn’t that long ago. Wow, have things so quickly. There was an occasional fight and that was over someone’s girlfriend usually.

  24. SF on February 18th, 2018 8:02 am

    Keep seeing people in the media refer to the AR-15 as an military style assault weapon. It is a semi-automatic rifle. Just because it looks the way it does people freak out. Guns can’t commit crimes without someone pulling the trigger. When people in this country learn to place blame where it belongs then we will continue to have the same problems.

  25. Thinker on February 18th, 2018 7:38 am

    We don’t want guns on airplanes (Airlines go broke; people inconvenienced); so airlines put in TSA scanners. Why not scanners at schools? Could it be there is no profit to be made? Could it be abortion has changed our valuation of the lives of kids?





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