This is Our Future

Olivia Armstrong, Copy Editor

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In an age where everyone is glued to their phones, the impact of a simple video is becoming monumental.

The spotlight is evershining on the recent Parkland shooting, and the videos circulating the event continue to add to the fire.

Yet another mass shooting took place on American grounds on Feb. 14. The shooting moved the nation, social media flooding with opinions on the issue through day and night. The public was also moved by the numerous amount of videos posted straight from the high school, striking a positive spark in the country.

On Valentine’s Day, Nikolas Cruz walked into Stoneman Douglas high school with an AR-15 in hand. An Uber dropped him off at the freshman building and he opened fire.

17 students were pronounced dead after Cruz was finally captured, and 14 others were rushed to hospitals. The Parkland shooting is one of the country’s worst mass school shootings.

Cruz was not captured until several minutes later, and he confessed almost immediately. He was later charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and could now face the death penalty.

The floodgates on social media soon opened wide. Apps like Twitter were swarmed with trending hashtags and wishes for safety and prayer all over the world. Normal people, celebrities and government officials were all following the story closely on their phones.

President Donald Trump tweeted on February 22 that “a ‘gun free’ school is a magnet for bad people.” President Trump also recently tweeted a statement blaming the FBI for the shooting. “They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign…,” said Trump.

President Trump and other officials have often brought up the idea of arming teachers with guns, in hopes of creating a safer school environment.

Many were upset with this tweet, especially students that went to Parkland. “…my friends were brutally murdered and you have the nerve to make this about Russia. I can not believe this,” said one student, @longlivekcx, on Twitter.

Many were also upset with the prominent use of “thoughts and prayers.” Tweets bashed the use of senators and government officials thoughts and prayers, exclaiming that they should actually do some real work.

Also circulating around Twitter after the shooting were some extremely violent videos, showing real footage students took during the Parkland shooting. In these videos you could hear gunshots and screaming, and see dead bodies, blood and police evacuating students.

While these videos are not for the faint of heart, they leave a lasting impression on what the cries for gun control are really about. These videos, as traumatizing as they might be, allow everyday citizens to truly put themselves in the eyes of the students.

It is hard to ever comprehend what being in a school shooting could feel like. Imagination can only go so far, and the same with description. These videos shed an entirely new light on the situation at hand in America.

These videos show exactly the gore and violence everyone seems to be avoiding, as you’re truly unable to unsee the blood on the ground, or unhear the sound of deafeningly loud gunshots.

Many believe that the footage is something private and never to be publicized, but at the end of the day, it’s what is making lawmakers take a second glance at the situation. The Parkland survivors aren’t taking no for an answer either, as they’ve already taken the initiative to create several marches and even meet with the Pulse Nightclub shooting survivors.

This initiative is important, because it is this generation that will be left to make change. These videos are a way for them to demand this change. It’s forcing the public to look at something that makes them uncomfortable, and it is forcing the government to deal with an extreme backlash.

This change, for most, is being seen and carried out through changes in gun control. Gun control is an essential stair step for safer schools, and safer communities. It is important to ensure the right people have access to the right guns, to put it simply.

Nikolas Cruz had an AR-15, which is classified as a semi-automatic rifle. Cruz was only 19, yet he was allowed to have an extremely deadly weapon. Thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, are raising questions about this fact.

The next extremely essential argument to this landslide of controversy is, where do we draw the line as a society on guns, and who is allowed to have them?

Even though the lines on this issue are still blurred, one thing is clear: Parkland students and America’s youth are turning the right heads, and these videos were just one step to the right direction, no matter how uncomfortable it may be.

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The student news site of Bullitt East High School.
This is Our Future