By: Emmy Goering
On the afternoon of February 14, 2018, a 19-year-old former student entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida with an AR-15-style semi-automatic weapon and several magazines of ammunition. Shortly after, students began dying.
Although the school had practiced a fire drill earlier in the day, the fire alarm had reportedly been pulled by the shooter, which led students to pour into the halls. The attacker, Nikolas Cruz, fired his legally-purchased weapon into the fleeing crowds. Cruz also fired into several classrooms. Overall, seventeen people were killed. At least fifteen others were wounded, with five suffering life-threatening injuries according to Broward County Hospital officials.
Sadly, this tragedy is not the first school shooting of 2018. Just weeks before, a shooting at Marshall County High School in Kentucky killed two people and injured 16. Even more startling is the fact that as of Wednesday’s shooting in Florida, three of the ten deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history have occurred in the last five months, according to a February 16th article by The New York Times.
The issue of firearm deaths goes beyond school shootings and mass shootings. The Washington Post reports, “On average, two dozen children are shot every day in the United States, and in 2016 more youths were killed by gunfire — 1,637 — than during any previous year this millennium.”