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Thousands of people support students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in a rally for gun control at the Florida capitol (2/21/18).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.https://youtu.be/6PRPEfu7WPg

New Yorker Reporter On Florida Politics: Idealistic Parkland Students Confront Legislative Reality

New Yorker Correspondent Emily Witt
Noah Calina
/
albany.edu

This week’s student march on the Capitol in Tallahassee attracted media from all over the country.  That included The New Yorker Magazine.   Tom Flanigan caught up with the correspondent Emily Witt, who came to Florida to cover the impact of the Parkland school shooting, and where it fits in the larger debate over gun control, mental health and mass shootings.

  

Witt's impressions of Florida's political process, legislative reaction to the student march:

  • Interesting to come from South Florida where there was a sense of urgency…to come up here, inside the Capitol, the pace of the Florida legislature was not going to be disrupted by this event…many lawmakers took no interest in the fact the students were there.”

  • “It was watching the idealism of the students encounter this political reality.”

  • “Noticed posters hanging up the building advertising seer sucker suit day, fortunately most lawmakers didn’t wear their suits.”

  • “Students told me [they felt] there was an unwillingness to meet them with the urgency they were feeling.”