Another Tragedy in Florida

While most people might be focused on the Mueller Investigation and the results, I want to look at something else making headlines:

Sad news from Parkland, Florida, where two young people have committed suicide.

On Saturday, a sophomore boy at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, committed suicide, making that the second suicide in a week connected to the school shooting that took place on February 14, 2018, killing fourteen students and three members of the school’s faculty. Another survivor of the mass shooting, Sydney Aiello, 19, who took her own life March 17, had reportedly tried to soldier on after the traumatic experience of the mass shooting that included the death of her close friend, Meadow Pollack, but the survivor’s guilt and PTSD was too much for her.

My initial reaction to the death of Sydney was, “Oh, my God. What an incredible tragedy.” And I couldn’t help but wonder if something could have been done to prevent it? Not knowing the details of her private life, or her family, I can only hope that her PTSD was taken seriously and she had been in counseling. But part of me wonders if what she did was partly out of despair.

Was she wondering, like many of us since Columbine, if nothing was ever going to change. Was not one shred of good going to come out of the loss of so many lives?

There are pictures in this story in the New York Post, showing Sydney in the front lines of that call to action right after the Florida massacre – NEVER AGAIN. Students from the school were petitioning the state Legislature to act swiftly on enacting stricter gun laws. We were all a bit heartened last year to see those young people being so pro-active, using their grief for something positive, but the positive didn’t happen.

Compare that to the immediate reaction the government in New Zealand took following the massacres at the two mosques in Christchurch on March 15 this year.

Just one day later, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Adhern stated that the gun laws in her country would change and legislation to do just that was introduced within days. This story in the The Guardian outlines those changes and what weapons are affected, primarily assault-style semi-automatic weapons.

Now, more than a year after the people were killed in Parkland, Florida legislators are finally starting to talk about the need for gun reform. It only took the death of two more young people to give them the incentive to even talk.

What a sad commentary on people doing, or not doing, the right thing.

So here we are talking about stricter gun laws once again. I wrote about this issue many times, as regular readers of the blog will remember, and here is a link to a blog post about the need for assault weapons.

People will be quick to remind me of the Second Amendment that guarantees our right to have guns. I want to be quick to remind them that when that amendment was written, there were no AK 15 assault weapons.

There were no weapons that could mow down a classroom of children in less than a minute. 

Think about that people. I implore you.

That’s all I can write for today. My heart is heavy, and I need to do something to lift my spirits. What do you do when you’re feeling like this? My go-to lately has been coloring, but today I think I’ll go outside and plant something.

2 thoughts on “Another Tragedy in Florida”

  1. So, so sad. As a senior citizen who has had several decades of living experience, I don’t believe I could endure seeing a trauma such as the Parkland massacre without suffering significant PTSD. To expect children to come out of such a horrific experience unscathed is ludicrous—and, yes, teenagers are still children. All those survivors, especially the ones in close proximity to the shooting victims, will be scarred as long as they live in this old world. Now I am wondering how many more suicides will occur as a result of this terrible tragedy.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Linda and adding your thoughts. I just saw a news report that a father of one of the kids killed at Sandy Hook killed himself this morning. I didn’t read the story, so I don’t know how closely it is related to the school shooting, but it very well may be. Like you, I am weighed down by the trauma. When I wrote my book about school violence in 1991,I had hoped there would never be another school shooting. Sigh…

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