One Year Later by Breonna Taylor
On February 14th, 2018, the students and faculty of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School fell victim to one of the deadliest mass-shootings in modern history. With 17 people killed and 14 injured, it is no surprise that it has changed the conversation surrounding gun violence. Since the Valentine’s Day massacre, student survivors have banded together in to fight against gun violence in the ‘March For Our Lives,’ movements. This past week was the one year anniversary of the shooting, we at the Center of Community Action and Research wanted to shed light on what has happened in the year since.
February 14th and 17 Minutes of Silence
On February 14th, an armed former student opened fire on students and faculty at around 2:30pm. The gunman used an AR-15 semi-automatic and was later taken into custody by police. The gunman had previously posted on the social networking site Youtube, “I want to be a professional school shooter.”
A list of the 17 victims:
- Alyssa Alhadeff, 14
- Scott Beigal, 35
- Martin Daque Anguiano, 14
- Nicholas Dworet, 17
- Aaron Feis, 37
- Jaime Guttenberg, 14
- Christopher Hixon, 49
- Luke Hoyer, 15
- Cara Loughran, 14
- Gina Montalto, 14
- Joaquin Oliver, 17
- Alaina Petty, 14
- Meadow Pollack, 18
- Helena Ramsay, 17
- Alexander Schatcher, 14
- Carmen Schentrup, 16
- Peter Wang, 15
A month later, students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and around the nation, performed a 17 minute walk out to honor those that had lost their lives.
Accomplishments and March For Our Lives
On March 24th 2018, students banded together to protest at the March For Our Lives in Washington D.C., and all over the nation. The demonstration had over 1.5 million participants nation-wide. Since then, student founders have accomplished so much.
Following the shooting, Govenor Rick Scott signed the Senate Bill 7026 into law. This bill tightens gun control, but allows teachers to be armed on campus. This law raises the minimum age of gun ownership from 18 to 21. The Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program is part of the bill, and allow teacher if the local school district and local sheriff’s department agree. It is a $67 million dollar provision and is named after the coach who died when shielding students with his own body.
Student have also influenced, not only their own student body, but students urged the nation to perform walk outs the following week in order to honor those who’d died. The walkouts lasted 17 minutes for each life that had been lost.
Continuing the Fight (to End Gun Violence)
Student activist are all part of Gen Z and have spoken at various rallies in support of ending gun violence. While many of the student founders no longer attend Marjory Stoneman High School, they have chosen to continue their fight to prevent other school shootings from happening.
Student founders of the movement are:
Adam Alhanti, Dylan Baierlein, John Barnitt, Alfonso Calderon, Sarah Chadwick, Jaclyn Corin, Matt Deitsch, Ryan Deitsch, Sam Deitsch, Brendan Duff, Emma González, Chris Grady, David Hogg, Lauren Hogg, Cameron Kasky, Kirsten McConnell, Charlie Mirsky, Diego Pfieffer, Delaney Tarr, Bradley Thornton, Kevin Trejos, Sofie Whitney, Daniel Williams, and Alex Wind.
First year Pace student, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas graduate, Tyra Hemans is active in March For Our Lives campaign and is organizing to rally students through the March For Our Lives NYC chapter.
You can read Pace student accounts of their experience marching in the March For Our Lives in New York City at https://ccar.blogs.pace.edu/tag/march-for-our-lives/.
How You Can Join the Fight
Students at Pace University are banding together to create the Pace Students Against Gun Violence Coalition to bring awareness to the issue of gun violence. Students will be working this semester to repeal the Dickey Amendment. This amendment states that “none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.” For more information or to see what you can do, email Laurianne Gutierrez at firstname.lastname@example.org or at email@example.com.
Links and Sources