With only ten minutes left in the school day, recently expelled Nicolas Cruz came into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with a backpack and a .223-caliber AR-15 rifle.
Only five minutes after stepping out of his uber and onto school property the shooting had stopped- 17 people were dead or dying.
Unfortunately, Stoneman Douglas was not the first school shooting that has happened this year.
Everytown for Gun Safety, a non for profit company, has now reported 18 school shootings so far this year, averaging out to be three per week.
While the non for profit groups’ definition of a school shooting isn’t exactly what the general public might have in mind, in which Everytown counts unintentional gunfire and stray bullets hitting the school, 18 is still an incredibly high number.
So what is the Senate doing to decrease this number?
As of right now; nothing.
The day following the Stoneman Douglas shooting, the Senate was debating over the topic of immigration, but after that vote, no clear plan has been formed to face the issue of gun control.
That translates to state government, as well. According to the SunSentinel, the Florida state House failed to pass a motion that would ban assault rifles by 36-71, with students from Stoneman Douglas present.
Politifact.com suggests that many plans have been mentioned to reduce school shooting. Such plans include: reducing accessibility to firearms, enstating more mental health services in public school systems or increasing school security by implementing more security officers and metal detectors. However, none of these plans have been put into place by the Senate.
What can students and young people do to enable the government in preventing another mass school shooting?
The survivors of the Stoneman Douglas shooting have organized two events alongside the Women’s March Youth EMPOWER movement. The March for Our Lives March on Washington on March 24, and a #NationalSchoolWalkout on March 14.
Kansas City is hosting a March for Our Lives event on Saturday, March 24, at Mill Creek Park 50 W 47th St, Kansas City, Missouri 64112 from 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
On March 14, there is going to be a national protest where students and staff of schools are encouraged to walk out of school at 10 a.m. for 17 minutes.
Both of these events are being held to “protest Congress’ inaction to do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods,” according to the march’s website.
Now is the time for students and young people to take a stand and fight for their rights; will South join their cause?