“There’s no tragedy in life like the death of a child. Things never get back to the way they were,” were Dwight D. Eisenhower’s words in reference to the death of his first son. It is a remark that best describes the feeling of several parents whose children’s lives were cut short on February 16, 2018 at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, when a gun wielding man stormed the school shooting haphazardly. Referred to widely as the Parklands shooting, the incident was orchestrated by 19 year old Nikolas Cruz, a former student of the school who had been expelled for exhibiting certain unwanted behaviors. Armed with an AR-15 rifle, Cruz is said to have stormed the school and opened fire at innocent teachers and students. Cruz then fled the school leaving behind a stream of grief as the members of the school poured out of various rooms in horror meeting victims of the senseless killing breathing their last breath. The cruel episode that was highly condemned by leaders across the divide caused such effects as senseless loss of innocent lives, trauma to the survivors and finally aroused debate about possessing of lethal firearms by civilians.
Several innocent lives were lost on this fateful afternoon. The incident left 17 people dead and 14 others injured (Burch and Mazzei). Analysts, while describing the event as deadliest ever to witnessed in modern day America, expressed disbelief that Cruz had great courage to return to his former school to unleash an unforgiving act after to his former school (Burch and Mazzei; Burke 29). There was every possibility that Cruz might have been problematic since childhood and had been left to grow into a hard core who only knew violence. It is obvious that this action sent a strong signal to parents across the world to be vigilant in their roles as they might be brewing trouble that will hurt the community in unimaginable ways.
The horrific event also caused untold trauma among the survivors, including relatives and close friend of those who lost their lives. Trauma is an emotional shock caused by extreme distressing experience and which may have lasting psychological effects. The survivors will obviously live with ugly and distressing memories following what they witnessed and having escaped death narrowly (Gilliard 46). It is probable that the activities of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School took long to normalize several days after the incident. The school may have also been heavily guarded for several days for fear of another attack and to facilitate quicker healing of the survivors.
In the same light, following the shooting, debate about the rights to possess firearms by civilians took center stage and has been very hot among different sects of people within and without the U.S.A. Although several groups advocate for banning of the firearms among civilians, others are of the opposing position, saying that the act of banning will violate human rights, undermine the provisions of the U.S. Constitution, as well as threaten personal safety while also heightening crime (Burke 71). There are others who also argued that laws cannot be amended following a single outrageous incident such that one. Otherwise, the government will have to amend laws every time there is a misfortune.
Concisely, the Parklands shooting led to several deaths, caused trauma among survivors, as well as sparked a raging debate about America’s gun policy. The painful events of this day will go down in history of the USA as having been the ugliest day lives were lost senselessly by a rogue of poor parenting. Besides, many traumatized who may have spent lots of money and time in hospital and in counseling centers may have had their lives changed in many ways due to this day. Finally, the time and resources lost during the ongoing debate about possessing of lethal firearms by civilians may have been utilized on more positive issues that would benefit the society other than that. If parents took their responsibilities seriously, such a tragic event could not have occurred and therefore, no one mentioned would have suffered such harsh effects.
Burch, Audra D. S. and Patricia Mazzei. Death Toll Is at 17 and Could Rise in Florida School Shooting. The New York Times, 14 Feb. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/02/14/us/parkland-school-shooting.html. Accessed 11 July 2018.
Burke, Harris N. The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018.
Gilliard, Dominique D. B. Rethinking Incarceration: Advocating for Justice That Restores. InterVarsity Press, 2018.
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