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Florida School Shooting! The 18th School Shooting Of 2018!

Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting

This Thursday morning I find myself saddened and angry that 17 people have lost their lives and 14 more injured by flying bullets, in what is, the 18th school shooting of 2018, that’s a shooting every 2 1/2 days, why are we just accepting this as normal in America? I, for one, refuse to accept this is normal.

We can predict what our elected officials in Washington DC will say, first of all, they will offer their thoughts and prayers, to which, I say, your thoughts and prayers mean nothing when you have the power to enact change in gun regulation and implement better mental health services at a federal level. We know that Republicans will point the finger at mental illness while ignoring the issue of assault rifles.

We keep on hearing about President Trump’s agenda to build a wall on the Mexican border to “keep us safe” from those dangerous immigrants, yet our government cannot guarantee our children’s safety in their local neighborhood school. The shooter was a white American, who had published multiple posts on social media and even a YouTube video saying he wanted to be a professional school shooter.

The issue here is not the shooter, I don’t want to glorify him in any way, I will not name him or link to any of his social media or videos. The issue is military style assault rifles being legal, did you know, in Florida, a person cannot buy a handgun until the age of 21, but it is perfectly legal for an 18 year old to go into a licensed gun dealer and purchase an AR-15 assault rifle and multiple ammunition clips.

Limited capacity handguns or single action rifles I can see as being necessary for hunting or personal protection, but there is zero logical reason for military style assault rifles to be sold to the general public. What possible reason is there for someone to own a rifle with a 30 bullet clip, which can be easily switched out for another to rapidly fire another 30 bullets. This is made worse, by the legal existence of bump stocks, that effectively turns a semi automatic rifle, such as the AR-15 into a fully automatic one.

I firmly believe that the United States government is complicit in every death that occurs due to firearms in the US. The Republicans and some Democrats in congress have refused to even debate and take a vote on commonsense gun regulation. They talk about mental health support, but do very little to actually help people with mental health problems, hell, Donald Trump repealed former president Barack Obama’s laws to keep guns out of the hands of people with mental illness, Washington is in the pocket of the NRA.

Don’t believe me? check out OpenSecrets.org, you can see how much the National Rifle Association has spent in direct campaign contributions to congresspeople and senators and lobbying congress.

I originate from a country where guns have been banned for decades, due to a single school shooting. I understand that is not viable in the United States, the second amendment is so ingrained into the US consciousness, the people would revolt if a total ban was implemented. But, we need commonsense gun regulation, which is supported by the majority of Americans. Banning assault rifles like the AR-15 would be a start, keeping guns out of the hands of people who should not have them is paramount.

Do I believe that anything good will come out of this tragedy? No, there will be a lot of lip service in the coming days, then over the course of the next few weeks, the media will stop talking about it and people forget and nothing will be done until the next major school shooting. It’s the same bullshit that happens time and time again, it happened after Columbine, it happened after Sandy Hook, no action is ever taken, as I said, Republicans in congress have refused to debate and vote on commonsense gun regulation.

Finally, there’s been outrage on social media; I heard everything from if you followed God’s ‘family values’ law, this situation would not happen, WRONG, same sex marriage did not cause this. And the other old chestnut, if there was a good guy with a gun, s/he could have stopped this situation, yes, in rare cases, someone trained in firearms may have taken out the shooter before entering the school, but someone untrained could cause more deaths, despite the NRA propaganda, more guns is never the answer.

Update [Feb, 17 2018, 14:33]: The right wing media outlet, Washington Post, published an article titled “No, there haven’t been 18 school shootings in 2018. That number is flat wrong.“, which suggests that only five of the 18 ‘school shootings’ were actual school shootings. I’m not going to get into the technicalities of what is, or what isn’t a school shooting, bottom line, five is too many, one is too many. We should expect our children to be safe at school, we should not fear when we drop our kids off at school, it might be the last time we see them alive. The USA is the only country where this is a thought.

In addition, the pro-gun, pro-life lobby has tried to minimize the 17 lives lost by claiming that Planned Parenthood kills one baby every 90 seconds. Regardless of your belief on what constitutes life, these are despicable people trying to deflect attention away from this tragedy, which will have far reaching consequences for those involved. The community of Parkland, FL will be forever traumatized by this.

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