Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a day for love. It’s a day to share kisses, chocolate and flowers, or so we thought. Late afternoon on February 14th, a horrific attack broke out in one of South Florida’s schools. A horrendous massacre took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida and seventeen people were killed by a disturbed 19-year-old gunman. The gunman that, in-spite of suffering from mental illness, was able to buy an assault gun. He could not purchase a handgun because in order to do that he needed to be 21 years old but, at 19, he could get a modern assault weapon built for war.
After committing such heinous attack against teachers and students, he eventually made a getaway by joining some of the students that were running toward safety and according to surveillance footage, he even ate at McDonald’s before he was stopped by police in a nearby community and taken into custody. He was then taken to Broward Health Emergency Room where he was treated for unknown injuries.
Ironically, America also lays claim to another famous Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929, thanks to gangster Al Capone. The 1929 massacre was long known as our nation’s bloodiest Valentine’s Day. Yet, the massacre of 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida, is now the deadliest. Capone has been upstaged.
This week’s massacre, indeed, was a very bloody, monstrous, and cowardly act. So many young people lost their lives needlessly because of one senseless high school student who armed himself with an AR-15 – a weapon that is used for war!
What has been most shocking to Americans and observers around the world is that our government, knowing that these weapons are out there, continues to sponsor the National Rifle Association, an organization with no conscience! As an industry lobby, American-style, the NRA are only interested in selling guns and selling more guns. They exist to sponsor politicians so that they can help pass laws to protect their industry.
As the number of mass shootings hits records year after year, it has become clear that if restricting weapons is not done quickly, there will not be a safe school in America. We need to stop the killing of our children! We have no greater obligation than protecting our children.
Changes were brought about before in American gun laws, following previous incidents. For instance, even though the 1929 Valentine’s Day Massacre was part of a larger battle among Prohibition Era gangsters like Capone, the American people reacted to the violence by rising up – and they made a difference! As pointed out by writer A. Brad Schwartz in a recent New York Times article:
We should be ashamed that the killing of criminals 90 years ago could help spur such change, while the repeated slaughter of children prompts little more than “thoughts and prayers” from lawmakers today. The story of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre shows how public outrage can create meaningful reform when the political and economic costs of inaction outweigh the inertia preserving the status quo.
The problem here in America, as all logical people see it, is the guns! There are too many guns out in the streets. We have no system to prevent people like those on the FBI’s terrorist watch list or violent criminals, that should not be legally allowed to have guns, from buying them. As it stands today, weapons that we have designed for war are available to mentally ill people.
Last year, President Trump repealed an executive order signed by President Obama that had made it more difficult for some people with mental illness to buy guns. Trump, in his mad drive to overturn every decision made during Obama’s Presidency, decided that revoking this mandate would make him feel triumphant.
How do you feel now Mr. President? 17 innocent people died on Friday, February 14th. How many more will have to suffer before you find some compassion. Our children are dying! Can you please put an end to the availability of such destructive weapons. Ensure background checks and waiting periods for anyone who wants to purchase a gun. In some countries, a psychological evaluation takes place before purchasing a weapon. Let’s do something today!
We are not asking for the abolishment of the second amendment. We are asking for laws to protect our children. We are asking for action! Today!
The young people that have suffered this horrendous tragedy in Florida are going around our country begging to be protected. They are speaking for friends that no longer have a voice. How will these young people be able to recover? How will they be able to return to their school continue their education? Let this type of tragedy happen no more! Let this be the last time we hear of a school shooting! Students need to feel secure and safe! The hope that most of us have is that lawmakers finally come to a consensus and end these preventable killings. If only they listen to the voices that are echoing across the country this week, the cries of the fallen students and teachers, then maybe then things will change!