Parkland: Two Years Later


February 14th is Valentine’s Day. People across the U.S. celebrate the day with their loved ones, receiving bouquets of roses and eating chocolates. But February 14th is not Valentine’s Day; not for the students and families of Marjory Stoneman High School. February 14th is the day 19 year old Nikolas Cruz returned to his old high school and murdered 17 people. February 14th is the day 17 people lost their lives. The day 14 students’ lives were cut short at their own school. Now, two years later, Parkland is remembered as one of the most devastating mass shootings in U.S. history.

Parkland instantly created a social media outburst. Teens all over the country led and participated in March For Our Lives; a movement created to end gun violence. This helped lead to an increase in gun control reforms, as 137 state gun safety laws have been passed since. Gun control has also been one of the biggest and most controversial topics debated between candidates in the 2020 Presidential Race; each of them wanting stricter gun control. However, the United States still does not have as strict gun control as the rest of the world. 

Australia hasn’t had a mass shooting since 1996, when they placed stricter gun control laws after a man murdered 35 people with a semi-automatic gun. As for America, there were 417 mass shootings and 130 instances of gunfire on school grounds in 2019. In 2020, there has already been 18 counts of gunfire at schools. We are not even two months into 2020. The best part is that, after every single mass shooting, politicians never fail to tweet out their “thoughts and prayers,” as if that’ll fix America’s problem of gun violence, or it’ll reassure parents or make children feel safer at school. 

Two years have passed since one of the most devastating massacres in our country’s history occurred. And although more laws are being passed, our country shows little to no progress. School should be a place of safety. Students should not have to worry about getting shot while in class. Parents should not have to worry that the last time they could see their child is at breakfast, before they leave for school. How many more Parklands will have to occur before we get stricter gun control? How much longer till we feel safe again?