Parkland Aftermath: Florida Lawmakers, Activists Say 'No More' To School Shootings

Thousands of people support students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in a rally for gun control at the Florida capitol (2/21/18).
Credit Lydell Rawls / WFSU News

The Florida legislature is poised to pass some of the most sweeping gun control and mental health reforms in more than 20 years. The moves come as lawmakers face pressure from students affected by the Valentine's Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

On Valentine's Day, a 19-year-old in Parkland opened fire on his former classmates at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He killed 14 students, three adults, and injured 14 others. There were warning signs, yet, all, including a tip to the FBI, were missed.

That day, school safety measures in place, like school resource officers, restricted access and fencing--all failed.

In the wake of the shooting, students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas have mobilized, calling on the legislature to take greater action to prevent school and mass shootings. Lawmakers, it seems, are finally listening.

A classroom of empty desks
Pexels

With a new law in place, Florida officials are still working to implement a lot of its components to ensuring the safety of Florida’s schools to avoid tragedies like the mass school shooting in Parkland.

The commission charged with improving school safety is looking into the effectiveness of school resource officers—a school’s main line of defense that critics say failed students at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School amid a Valentine’s Day shooting. Seventeen students died, more than a dozen others were injured.

Someone at the March 24th Rally at the Capitol holds a sign, saying 'This teacher will not carry a gun.'
WFSU News

Two months after it passed the state legislature, Florida’s latest gun reform law is still under scrutiny from gun control and pro-gun advocates alike.

WFSU

The organization behind a petition drive to put an assault rifle ban on the 2020 ballot announced its steering committee Monday. 

Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie speaking to a reporter at a mental health summit he hosted.
Margie Menzel

Last week, Florida's 67 district school superintendents held a mental health summit to address what they'd already considered a crisis before the Parkland tragedy. Led by Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie, the summit drew lawmakers, behavioral health providers and state agency heads to Orlando for what many called an unprecedented gathering.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri speaking to members of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, which he chairs. It had its first meeting Tuesday.
Florida Channel

Between a Medal of Heroism ceremony honoring a school resource officer and a commission convened to investigate the failings that led up to a Valentine’s Day massacre, mass school shootings still took center stage in Florida this week.

(from right to left) Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods, Deputy Jimmy Long, Long's wife, and Gov. Rick Scott, following SRO Long's Medal Of Heroism presentation.
Governor Rick Scott's Office

Governor Rick Scott has awarded the Medal of Heroism to the school resource officer credited with taking quick action to help prevent another mass school shooting last week.

A girl holds up a sign that says "I should not need a bulletproof backpack," during last month's March For Our Lives Rally
Lydell Rawls / WFSU-FM

A commission tasked with looking into the failings that led up to the mass school shooting in Parkland will have its first meeting Tuesday.

(left to right) Orlando businessman Chris King, former North Florida Congresswoman Gwen Graham, former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum are seeking the Democratic gubernatorial nomination
Fox News 13 Screenshot

The need for gun reform is top of mind for the four Democratic candidates running for Governor. They discussed that during their first televised debate.

Ryan Dailey / WFSUNews

On the nineteenth anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting, students in Florida’s capital joined their counterparts across the nation in a school walkout calling for gun reform. Students also congregated in the Capitol courtyard after the school day.

Leon County Schools

Students across the nation are preparing for school walkouts to decry gun violence on the anniversary of the Columbine shooting 20 years ago. Leon County Schools is supporting its students’ right to protest.

Craig Patrick's Twitter (@Fox13Politics) / Fox News 13

All four Democratic gubernatorial candidates will have their first debate Wednesday.

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Youtube Screenshot

Are black students getting a voice in the gun violence debate, after the mass shooting that left 17 people dead in Parkland?

gatorinsc/iStockPhoto

While a new law allows Florida schools to arm their teachers, the Leon County School Board has unanimously approved a resolution stating they won’t be doing that in their school district.

A sign bearing the names of the 17 people killed during the Valentine's Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. (3/24/2018)
Lydell Rawls / WFSU

Students, parents, and a wide assortment of gun-control advocates young and old marched and rallied in Tallahassee Saturday.  The local "March for Our Lives" event was one of more than 800 similar happenings in the United States.

Florida Channel

The latest effort to reform Florida’s gun laws failed this week. It was in response to last month’s deadly mass school shooting in South Florida. As some clamored for an assault weapons ban and background checks, Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission refused to take up any measures that would do just that.

Amy Beth Bennett / Getty Images

Florida’s U.S. Senator Marco Rubio says the brother of the Parkland mass school shooter is a prime example of why other states should follow Florida and use gun violence protection orders. Rubio and U.S. Senator Bill Nelson are partnering on a “Red Flag” bill.

MGN Online

Florida voters will not get to weigh in on proposals creating universal background checks or a ban on assault weapons. Other proposals mirrored the new gun safety law approved by Governor Rick Scott. Those included raising the minimum age from 18 to 21 to buy any gun. Roberto Martinez championed that proposal.

Joe Raedle / Getty Images North America

Florida’s new gun safety law includes the creation of a commission tasked with investigating the failings that led up to last month’s mass school shooting in Parkland. Governor Rick Scott and Florida legislative leaders made their appointments Tuesday.

wfsu.org

The activism ignited by the South Florida school shooting just over one month ago has by no means abated. There will be follow-up marches across the nation, including Tallahassee, this coming weekend in support of gun law changes.

Rhona Wise / AFP/Getty Images

Within one week, Governor Rick Scott not only signed a gun safety bill into law, he also approved the budget, which includes millions of dollars for school safety purposes. Still, that didn’t prevent the National Rifle Association from filing a federal lawsuit against a provision in the new safety law. And, on the one month mark of the Parkland mass school shooting, thousands of kids across the nation walked out of their schools. Some Parkland families also asked officials to put ideas on the ballot to ban assault rifles and have universal background checks, and lawmakers in Washington D.C. may be moving forward on gun safety bills of their own.

Andrew Gillum talks about NRA lawsuit on MSNBC's "Morning Joy" 3/10/18.
Morning Joy / MSNBC

The NRA is suing Florida over its new gun restrictions and Florida’s gubernatorial candidates are weighing in.

 Congressman Ron DeSantis (R-FL) on "The Ingraham File" discussing Florida's new gun restrictions. 3/09/18
FOX News

The National Rifle Association is suing the state over newly approved gun restrictions that mandate a three-day waiting period for gun purchases and raise the buying age from 18 to 21 for most people. At least one GOP congressman and state gubernatorial hopeful thinks it was the wrong move.

Mark Wallheiser / AP Photo

After passing the Florida legislature last week, Governor Rick Scott decided to sign the gun safety legislation into law. Earlier in the week, he told reporters he’d wait before signing it, until he talked to the families who were impacted by the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school.

RHONA WISE / AFP/Getty Images

On a 67-50 vote, the Florida House passed the gun safety bill, already approved by the Florida Senate earlier in the week. Governor Rick Scott won’t say whether he will sign the bill, now heading to his desk. He says he’ll weigh input from those who lost loved ones in last month's mass shooting at a South Florida high school.

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