What I am about to write is going to get political and very opinionated so if you don’t want to read my thoughts on school shootings leave now.
Today February 14th 2018, a day that for as long as I have been alive has been a day about love, the love you have for friends, family, your person; well today in my home town of South Florida a school shooting occurred. ANOTHER massacre I should say, this person, who is a 19 year old child went to the school he used to attend before he was expelled, pulled the fire alarm in a school that he knew like the back of his hand in order to cause chaos and began shooting an AR-15 rifle at people he used to go to school with. For an hour he went from room to room shooting, shooting innocent teachers and students, innocent people, injuring 20 and ultimately murdering 17. 17 people who went to work or school this morning not knowing that today would be the last time they ever said goodbye to their families, people who probably had valentines day plans with thither friends or significant others, who never came home. The gunman then tried to blend in with the crowd and escape, who knows what he would have done if he did.
This terrible incident took place in Parkland Florida, a small community of mostly well off people who love their community and love their school. I had the pleasure of visiting Marjorie Stonemason Douglas High school many times on my high school days as well as a few years after, my sister did dance competitions held there, the people who worked these events were do warm and friendly and there were so many proud families who supported their loved ones. My heart hurts for these people, these innocent loves that didn’t need to be lost had this country adopted stricter gun policies, better regulations on gun control laws, and I feel safer schools. When I was in high school we didn’t worry about shootings, our biggest worry was terrorists, I went to school from 99-03, we felt safe, our parents felt safe sending us to school, and now, you don’t even want to go to a movie in fear of being shot. Wherever you go now days you’re going through a metal detector, except malls, movie theaters, outdoor festivals, airport entrances, and schools. This is where our issues lie, this is where people go and this is where innocents don’t leave.
I had the opportunity to visit one of the most violent countries on the planet, Israel, and let me just say I felt safer there than I do here sometimes, in Israel there are precautions everywhere, military police everywhere, and teachers in schools have guns and are trained in Krav Maga, the Israeli form of martial arts, they don’t have school shootings. There are metal detectors in almost every building especially airports, coming in and leaving you go through a metal detector. We need to look to other countries who are avoiding these senseless murders for ways to prevent losing any more innocent teachers and students who are only go to a place where they think they will learn and teach and make a difference in the world one day.
Another thing we can do is hire our veterans who are coming back from service and not re-enlisting, soldiers not on active duty, soldiers on leave hire them to work in our schools, malls, movie theaters, airports, night clubs, sporting events, festivals help our vets and help our loved ones.
Now I know that this issue is solely on the person who performs this act of murder, my question is this though, where did a 19 year old get a gun? never mind a gun but an AR-15 rifle? that is not a gun you keep in your house for protection, this is a weapon used with the intent to murder, murder people in cold blood, and in most situations people they don’t even know. This country needs to adopt a tougher gun law, I’m not saying get rid of all guns, no people needs guns, its their right to have one or not have one, thats what the men and woman who founded this country fought for, BUT my point is if you have a child under the age of 18 living at home you must be required to have some sort of gun locked case in your home, AR-15’S just need to be outlawed for civilians and if issued by a government agency they must be kept locked up in the agency offices. We need better mental health screenings for people buying and sort of concealed weapon, people should be required to take a certain amount of therapy hours before getting their licenses. Unfortunately until we do something about these problems with gun control, we will continue to lose loved ones.
My final thought is we need better mental health professionals in schools, not guidance councilors, but real therapists, psychiatrists, or psychologists who are there for these kids who need help, who teachers see don’t have friends, are quiet, reserved, people complain about they are always talking about guns and violence and working with the schools administration to get these individuals help and working with the parents, our schools need to be better funded in order to prevent these massacres.
No one should have to love in fear everyday that this may be the last time they leave their house, say goodbye to their mom, dad, brother, sister, dog, boyfriend, girlfriend because one person is angry about something that you have nothing to do with and they decide to open fire on a large crowd murdering innocent victims and ripping families apart.
I have some questions too, how did a 19 year old get an AR-15?, where are his parents?, how did no body have any clue as to what he was up to? why is it legal to buy an AR-15 rifle at 18, but you need to be 21 to purchase a handgun? WTF is wrong with this world!? these are questions that need to be answered in order to prevent the next massacre.
My heart tonight goes out to the people in the City of Parkland, the parents and loved ones of the 17 people who are not coming home tonight. I pray that our country finds a way to heal and we collectively find a way to fix the problems in our country.