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Edward Kivlahan February 14, 2019


On Valentine’s Day 2018, Nikolas Cruz walked into Parkland High School and gunned down 17 students. This incident was almost instantly across the major news outlets in America and the survivors came into the national spotlight, for better or worse. They came out of the trauma with a strong message about gun violence and gun control. This soon began a movement by the name of March For Our Lives.

In response to March For Our Lives, some of America opposed the movement and its leaders. Some went beyond opposition and labeled these student leaders as “Crisis Actors.” Those aligning with the Parkland Survivors chose to stage several school walkouts. This sparked further controversy. School and district administrators were either supportive or oppositional and thus each decision was laced with potential pitfalls.

The national response to discuss gun control was loud but brief. Some who prefer not to discuss gun control at all said it was too soon or said it was a sensational power grab while those who have been seeking gun control reform chose to use that time to spread their message. The associated politics did not bring about any substantive reform.

On the one-year anniversary of the shooting, it is important to remember the lives that were lost. 17 lives were taken and countless people have been left with only memories of those students. Despite all of this, one year later, March For Our Lives is no longer a national discussion. The school walkouts haven’t happened in months. It seems that America has all but forgotten Parkland, especially after large-scale issues such as the recent government shutdown. Today, survivors have had a day of remembrance for their classmates. About 378 students have died in shootings since 1990, and 29 of them have been within the last year after Parkland.

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