Core Details

  • Wednesday February 14th, 2018
  • Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, 3,000 students
  • Parkland, Florida
  • Shooter: Nikolas Cruz, 19, former student
  • Purchased AR-15 style gun legally after passing background checks
  • 4 deputies remained outside behind their cars with guns drawn for 4 minutes during the shooting and would not go inside the school
  • 17 killed, at least 14 more injured, (2 LDS killed)
  • Claimed to hear voices of demons that told him to do this
  • His adoptive mother died in the fall
  • Deadliest school shooting since 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary (26 died)
  • FBI notified in 2017 about a comment on a YouTube video by user with same name saying “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.” The FBI could not identify the person.
  • Local police had not been warned about him
  • Member of a white supremacist group called “Republic of Florida”
  • School authorities had emailed teachers about Cruz’s behavior. Expelled (from threatening students? not officially stated) and wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack. He had been found with bullets in his backpack.
  • BBC: “It was the third shooting incident at a school in 48 hours and the 11th in the three weeks since the start of the year.”
  • Aaron Feis, assistant football coach, shielded students with his body, "died a hero"

What people are saying

  • Trump gave speech in response on Thursday Feb 15, focused on mental health and not on gun control. ‘The shooting showed that people must report their concerns about others’ erratic behaviour.’
  • Those who knew him: "He seemed like the kind of kid who would do something like this." "Everyone predicted it." "I can’t say I was shocked."
  • Sheriff: His social media was “very, very disturbing”
  • Media talking points: “Should teachers be armed?” “Prayers not enough” “This happens nowhere else (besides the United States)”
  • NRA: "The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun"
  • Gun advocates say to arm teachers, especially on college campuses. Others say to ban high-capacity firearms such as AR-15’s
  • Marco Rubio: "You should know the facts of that incident before you run out and prescribe some law that you claim could have prevented it.” ‘Too soon to debate whether tighter gun laws could have stopped it.’
  • Senator Chris Murphy (D): “Don’t tell me tomorrow isn’t the appropriate time to debate gun violence. If you’re a political leader doing nothing about this slaughter, you’re an accomplice.”
  • Senator Bill Nelson (D): What would it take “for enough to be enough”?
  • Some politicians refusing to talk about gun control, such as Florida Governor Rick Scott

Arming Teachers

  • Nearly 25% of active shooter incidents between 2000 and 2013 have been at educational institutions
  • BBC: “Hours after the shooting in Kentucky, Republican State Senator Steve West rushed to file a bill that would allow Kentucky schools to have armed school marshals patrol the site. His bill joins another in the state which seeks to loosen gun restrictions around college campuses.”
  • Mr West’s bill received cross-party support from state Democratic Senator Ray Jones. "We need armed officers in every school in Kentucky," Mr Jones said. "That is a small price to pay if it saves one child’s life."
  • “Most recently, the Michigan State Senate passed a bill in November which would allow teachers at primary, middle and high schools to carry a concealed handgun in class. Similar bills have been filed this year in Florida, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, South Carolina and West Virginia.”
  • Some schools are at least 15-20 minutes from their local sheriff’s office.
  • Teachers need to be mentally prepared to shoot one of their own students if the person is an active shooter
  • BBC: “In a 2013 poll by the National Education Association, only 22% of teachers said they approved of the idea of arming staff, while 68% of teachers said they were opposed. In another survey the same year, 72% of teachers said they would not want to carry a gun even if the law allowed.”
  • For some, lot’s of guns in schools instills a Rambo or Wild West image of regular shootings or untrained carriers shooting the wrong people. Gun advocates propose professional training and promotion of firearms carriers on campuses.