With heartbreaking, nauseating regularity we’ve almost become numb to the BREAKING NEWS of yet another mass shooting in the United States of America. Today, on Valentine’s Day, it was a public school in Parkland, Florida. Teenagers scrambling to hide under desks. Teachers barricading children inside classrooms. At least seventeen lives lost. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland now joins the ever-growing list of campuses which will forever be linked to gun violence mass carnage. Virginia Tech. Columbine High School. Sandy Hook Elementary. Umpqua Community College. Time and time again, the politicians who’ve lined their pockets with NRA blood money, ask for calm. They say, “Now is not the time to discuss this. We must think of the victims. Thoughts. Prayers. Amen.” We demand action. Now. Your thoughts and prayers have achieved nothing. We demand Action and Change.
PARKLAND, Fla. — A heavily armed young man barged into his former high school about an hour northwest of Miami on Wednesday, opening fire on terrified students and teachers and leaving a death toll of 17 that could rise even higher, the authorities said.
Students huddled in horror in their classrooms, with some of them training their cellphones on the carnage, capturing sprawled bodies, screams and gunfire that began with a few shots and then continued with more and more. The dead included students and adults, some of whom were shot outside the school and others inside the sprawling three-story building.
The gunman, armed with a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle, was identified as Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old who had been expelled from the school, the authorities said. He began his shooting rampage outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in this suburban neighborhood shortly before dismissal time around 2:40 p.m. He then made his way inside and proceeded down hallways he knew well, firing at students and teachers who were scurrying for cover, the authorities said.
“Oh my God! Oh my God!” one student yelled over and over in one video circulating on social media, as more than 40 gunshots boomed in the background.
Lawmakers sending “thoughts and prayers” in the wake of Wednesday’s deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, are getting slammed for their financial ties to the gun lobby.
Bess Kalb, a writer for “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” is responding to each lawmaker tweeting condolences over the murders by listing how much they’ve taken from the National Rifle Association, which has consistently fought any move to tighten gun control laws.
Here is a sample of her handiwork:
President Donald Trump has since sent his “prayers and condolences” to the families of the victims, while celebrities including Mark Ruffalo, Reese Witherspoon, Stephen King, Kim Kardashian West, and Ellen DeGeneres shared their thoughts on social media.
“No words, no actions, no laws are enough until we end this epidemic of school shootings in our country,” tweeted DeGeneres. “My heart is with the students and parents of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.”
Read more reactions below: