Be realistic

After another shooting, change is finally taking place


photo credit: Valeria Herrera

Making history \\ Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is not seen as just “another school shooting.” Student survivors are fighting to make change. Now high schools across the nation are protesting and backing them up

writer: Valeria Herrera, Staff Reporter

Valentine’s Day should have been a day of love, not fear. Unfortunately, Florida families and friends lost their loved ones when shots were fired at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Seventeen lives were taken, including staff member Aaron Feis, who sacrificed himself to shield students from bullets.

Based on the interviews, this shooting could have been prevented in some way. The shooter was a former student, who was expelled from Douglas because of suspicious activity and threats that he was making towards the school.

What was he even doing there if he no longer attend Doulas? Some of those who were killed were freshmen and sophomores; how could they possibly be involved with someone who was four and five years older than them?

Hearing students who were being interviewed say things like they were not surprised that the shooter was who he was, made me feel as though people were not paying attention to the red flags of the school shooter

It came up on news channels and social media that the shooter was extremely obsessed with guns and that five months earlier before the shooting, he posted a comment on a YouTube video saying,  “I will be the greatest school shooter.” Wow. What a red flag. How did the FBI miss this?

According to CNN, it was all thanks to Republican Senator Chuck Grassley. He took away the opportunity for the FBI to perform background checks on people who are mentally ill.

Social media then blew up when articles defined the school shooter as a “broken child” and he is “sorry” for what he did. The accused shooter, Nikolas Cruz, is 19 years old. He is not a child. He is an adult.

Why would anyone show even the slightest bit of sympathy towards someone who purposely planned on shooting up the school and wanted to kill and harm as many as possible. Cruz apologizing for what he did is not going to bring those students’ lives back or take away the anxiety of those who survived.  

If he was a black, Mexican or Muslim, he would be dead or immediately sent to prison. Instead, he was given sympathy because of mental illness. When the video of Cruz’s arrest was leaked, people on Twitter made his apology go viral and called it white privilege because his foster parents were Hispanic but he was white.

Within two days, shooting survivor and a senior at Douglas High School, Emma Gonzalez spoke out at a gun control rally on CNN. In a part of her speech, she pointed out the advice she saw on social media that said students must always report red flags to authorities. Which is exactly what various students from Douglas did, but they were always overlooked.

“It was no surprise to anyone who knew him to hear he was the school shooter. He would not have killed this many students with a knife!” said Gonzalez.

Since the shooting, high schools in different states have had students walk out to either honor those students from Douglas or to protest for better gun control laws.

In honor of both survivors and those whose lives were taken, Principal Mike Williams is allowing students to peacefully protest by walking out of the school and meeting at the flagpoles in the center circle where there will be a prayer circle held during power hour March 7. Students may also wear anything orange and jeans to show their support.