Parkland students say, ‘We are going to be the last mass shooting’

To those who would say it’s too soon after the school massacre to talk about politics and gun control, the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High see your point.

“We can respect that. We’ve lost people. It’s important to mourn,” junior Cameron Kasky said Sunday.

“Here’s a time to talk about gun control: March 24. My message for the people in office is: You’re either with us or against us. We are losing our lives while the adults are playing around.”

Be forewarned: They’re coming for the National Rifle Association and any politician who takes money from the gun lobbyist, Kasky and his classmates told CNN. CNN reached out to the NRA for comment.

According to a mission statement for March For Our Lives, students across the country will converge on Washington next month to say the nation can no longer wait to tackle issues of school safety and gun control reform. They’re asking that like-minded folks who can’t make it to the nation’s capital stage solidarity marches in their own communities.

“Every kid in this country now goes to school wondering if this day might be their last. We live in fear,” the March For Our Lives website says. “It doesn’t have to be this way. Change is coming. And it starts now, inspired by and led by the kids who are our hope for the future. Their young voices will be heard.”

Kasky thanked the older generation that provided him and his contemporaries with “endless support,” but he flatly told them, in light of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting that left 17 of his classmates dead and what he sees as continued inaction from adults, “We don’t need you.”

“You are going to be seeing students in every single major city marching and we have our lives on the line here, and at the end of the day, that is going to be what’s bringing us to victory and to making some sort of right out of this tragedy,” he told CNN. “This is about us begging for our lives.”

Kasky appeared on CNN with four fellow students, including Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg, who have been outspoken since Wednesday’s shooting about the need to reform gun control laws.

“We’ve sat around too long being inactive in our political climate, and as a result, children have died,” Hogg said. “If our elected officials are not willing to stand up and say, ‘I’m not going to continue to take money from the NRA because children are dying,’ they shouldn’t be in office and they won’t be in office because this is a midterm year and this is the change that we need.”

Kasky went so far as to say he and his classmates wanted to stigmatize politicians who take campaign contributions from the NRA.

“This isn’t about the GOP. This isn’t about the Democrats,” he said. “This is about us creating a badge of shame for any politicians who are accepting money from the NRA and using us as collateral.”

Gonzalez added, “We are going to be the difference.” At a Saturday rally, the senior told a crowd of hundreds that the time for inaction was over.

“Maybe the adults have got used to saying, ‘It is what it is,'” Gonzalez said in a fiery speech. “But if us students have learned anything, it’s that if you don’t study, you will fail. And in this case if you actively do nothing, people continually end up dead.”

“We are going to be the kids you read about in textbooks. Not because we’re going to be another statistic about mass shooting in America, but because, just as David said, we are going to be the last mass shooting,” she added.

Missed signs

Details of what may have been warning signs missed by authorities, school officials and those who were in contact with shooter Nikolas Cruz continue emerging in the aftermath of the shooting.

The FBI failed to act on a January 5 tip of information about “Cruz’s gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting,” the agency said.

The proper protocols weren’t followed and the FBI’s Miami office was not notified, the agency said.

A video blogger said he warned the FBI in September about a possible school shooting threat from a YouTube user with the same name as Cruz. The FBI did not find information to identify the person who posted the comment and no connection was made to South Florida, said Robert Lasky, FBI special agent in charge of the Miami division.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a review Friday into how the Cruz tip was missed and how authorities respond to similar situations.

Cruz’s school disciplinary record shows he was reprimanded many times since middle school for incidents that included bad language and disrupting class. He was also punished once for fighting and once for assault.

Laurel Holland, a retired teacher who had Cruz in her English class during his junior year, said Cruz cursed her out during midterm exams and was suspended for two days in 2016.

There was a time when Cruz was caught at school with a gun-related object in his backpack, but Holland said teachers don’t know what to do when kids exhibit “nebulous” behavior.

Kids who act out are referred to administrators, she said. Kids who cut class get detention. If she saw someone with suspicious bruises, she’d know to call social workers, who would get police involved. But with Cruz, there was no clear path.

“He fell through the cracks because we don’t know what to do,” she said.

The gunman’s future

Cruz, who is facing charges of premeditated murder, is willing to plead guilty to avoid the death penalty, according to public defender’s office representing him.

There’s no question Cruz killed 17 students and staff members in Wednesday’s shooting at the high school in Parkland, Broward County public defender Howard Finkelstein said.

“The only question is, does he live or does he die?” Finkelstein asked.

State Attorney Michael J. Satz said Saturday that this “certainly is the type of case the death penalty was designed for,” but now is the time “to let the families grieve and bury their children and loved ones.”

The 19-year-old is being held without bond in Broward County.

Cruz’s digital footprint includes slurs against blacks and Muslims, and declarations of a desire to shoot people. Other social media posts show a photo of a rifle, a collection of firearms on a bed and a photo taken through a scope looking out a window.

In a private Instagram group chat, Cruz talked about killing Mexicans, keeping black people in chains and cutting their necks. After one member expressed hatred for gay people, Cruz concurred, saying, “Shoot them in the back of head.”

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6 thoughts on “Parkland students say, ‘We are going to be the last mass shooting’

  1. beenthere

    Start with the FBI – FACT – FBI stated it received two separate tips regarding Cruz before the shooting, as much as 5 months before. FACT (source liberal magazine TIME)

    Abortions total in 2014- 652,639 (source CDC) performed by planned parenthood 323,999 (source Planned parenthood) – NOT an opinion its FACT
    Deaths by GUNs from year 1999-2015 533,879 IN 15 YEARS, AGAIN 15 YEARS- this is NOT an OPINION its Fact (Source IN the year 2016 just over 38,000 gun related deaths in the US (source CDC) – FACT again.
    So do I go on telling you facts – on the poverty side 39,000 attributed to area-level poverty and additional 119,000 to income inequality. Fact – (source Columbia University Study)

    Unborn lives don’t get a choice at all (thanks for calling them lives), Living get to choose. I understand that it can become generational, but for all the money we keep trying to throw at education you would think one would become knowledgeable of the fact they are in a crappy situation and can change it, take responsibility.

    Detroit/Chicago a result of free enterprise? What? That is an Opinion, not based on fact. They have a lot of Government intervention, great policies. We don’t see more school shootings because they are doing it every day, it’s a way of life for parts of those cities. (my opinion)

    Gun Laws – Agreed enforce the ones we have now to the fullest extent. I am tired of hearing “Gun Control” when the person saying it cannot define it other than saying all guns are evil, and we must destroy them.

    The vilifying unfortunately is a problem for both sides, quit the BS and move this country in a positive UNIFIED direction, of course we all won’t agree, but we all need to quit playing the blame game, poverty card, race card, qyxz card to push agendas. We as americans should all be considered equall regardless of the aforementioned issues. It is not one side or the other issue – its both Its been getting more divided over the last 10 years, its not just this administration.

    Ill keep my gun thanks, and usually on me.- so if one day someone needs that protection and I am around, I will.

    • Qualia

      Unless specific stats are quoted it’s all opinion. Thank you for the stats. I have no idea why abortion is even in this conversation, maybe that’s an indicator of an aggressive response when really it’s seems to be just a diversion, it has nothing to do with guns.
      “Detroit/Chicago a result of free enterprise”, an EXAMPLE of, yes there is law enforcement there, but who is regulating the price of drugs, not the government, who is determining how a competitor is removed from the market, not the government, these areas exist and their citizens sell the local commodity, drugs and murder, despite laws this economy is robust.
      What I read is some republicans taking an aggressive stance against the students. If I were still as obsessive as I used to be I’d look them up, but I’m putting my OCD behind me, if you look their there.
      You can keep your gun, “so if one day” the odds against that happening are slim.
      “A new commentary video from the National Rifle Association admitted that the odds of needing to use a gun for self-defense are exceedingly small while still promoting the ownership of firearms for self-defense.”

      the evidence clearly indicates that gun ownership increases the risk of injury and death, opinion or fact? The previous “fact” is now an opinion, there are posters here who refuse to give up that “opinion”, how do we make progress when many still believe as truth what’s been proven to be false.

  2. beenthere

    Q – I agree with you = This “sicko” went to school there, thus the reason for his target. However, our great “big brothers” with our government failed to do anything about the warnings.

    we couldn’t remove all the illegal drugs even after we outlawed them, what would be the difference for guns? The 2nd amendment made the statement fact when our forefathers installed it, not the NRA. Side note – more human lives are killed by Planned Parenthood (abortions). back to guns, Detroit/Chicago has some of the most stringent gun laws in the nation must be the safest place to be.

    A Lot of people Want to shout “gun control” – please define what that means. The same autonomic statement “we need gun control” – Also Canada does not allow citizens to carry, yet shooting are up double from 3 years ago.
    One last thing – Senate Republicans voted to tie a guns sales ban to the terror watch list – Every Democrat voted against it. –
    They are all playing us, to their own agenda.

    • Qualia

      I think expecting the FBI to find every potential killer is unreasonable, there are probably thousands just the same as he is who won’t kill. I think expecting the FBI to protect us from everything is similar to expecting us to feed every hungry child in the country, just flavors of the same nanny cake except one is a democrats position and the other is a republicans position.

      “more human lives are killed by Planned Parenthood (abortions).” an opinion, more human lives are lost due to our inability to deal with poverty in this country, generations upon generations die in rat infested homes with drug addled “uncles”, and shootings around their homes, due to the nonavailability of a choice or intimidation to not choose. Why are the unborn “lives” more important than the living lives? If they are equal why are we starving the currently living? We can blame it on the parents bad choices, is that the child’s fault? Is it the fault of a child as to who they are born to? Is it really the fault of the parent who was born into the same and that’s the only life they know? So thousands if not millions of children have been BORN into a bad situation and we treat them like they made the bad choice.

      “Detroit/Chicago”, I see this as an example of a free enterprise system with no regulation, similar to the republican models proposed, little governmental regulation over commerce, where the money and private armies determine the success or failure of a (corporation) gang. The reason gun control doesn’t work there is an entirely different situation than why gun control doesn’t work everywhere else, it’s barely a fruit to fruit comparison. Why don’t we see more school shootings there than in the rest of the country?

      I’m not a big proponent for more laws, I’m a proponent for more enforcement of existing laws, so often I see in my local paper where illegal gun activity is given a slap on the wrist, I assume this is because at the point of contact the police act as judges determining who to charge and who not to based on personal opinion on gun law and the meaning of the 2nd, then when in front of the judge at the judges discretion they do the same, I have no other explanation for going easy on gun law offenders.

      We need people who are willing to reconsider their hard and fast belief system and bring them up to date, we can’t work with people who still believe more guns means more safety, that arming people is the answer, it’s been proven over and over again that that is not the case.

      We need rational discussion not people vilifying and trying to knock down those standing up and trying solve a problem that’s been pushed to the bottom of the list for so long. We need understanding from both sides, we need compassion from both sides, not only on this issue but on so many others as well. We are NOT getting much of that a this point and frankly the current administration is doing nothing to facilitate treating every American as an equal citizen.

      I think democrats are willing to talk but republicans seem bent on approaching this with aggressive behavior, I think this aggressive behavior is desperation at not having an answer that satisfies Americans and feeling the impending pressure of an approaching election season, with the potential loss of campaign contributions. I don’t think they or the NRA is handling this well at all, I suspect like the 60’s and 70’s change will only happen at the grass roots level.

      Save a life, recycle a gun today

  3. Qualia

    This “sicko” didn’t select a gun free zone because it was a gun free zone, it’s where he went to school. NRA misinformation or just plain habit.

    These “kids” are future voters so you better pay heed.

    While I’ve seen very little if any get rid of ALL guns talk, there you go, habit

    You mention “you would not be able to remove all the “illegal” guns even from your own town” then object to the persecution of the organization that was instrumental in making your statement a fact.

    I bet you’re just loving that many people have come to their senses and are DESTROYING their guns. The congress, NRA members, unable to come up with a solution other than MORE guns should be embarrassed for themselves.

    But dude, really, there is NO plot to take your precious gun, it’s in your head and you can’t get it out, I understand but I don’t sympathize with you, at all, you should deal with it as soon as you can.

    Save Lives, Recycle a Gun today.

  4. Dieselrider

    Thee kids want to be special, just like every youth that has ever lived. How cute. And how naive at the same time.

    You won’t be the last mass shooting. No matter how unfortunate that is, it is fact. Even if you were to succeed and remove all the “legal” guns from all the world which you cannot), you would not be able to remove all the “illegal” guns even from your own town, let alone from the country. It is ironic that you want to condemn and persecute the only organization that stands for the solution to the problem.

    Why do these sicko shooters select “Gun free zones” to carry out these horrific acts? Because they are “Gun free zones and they have nothing to stop them there.

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