NEWTOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — Many people around the nation and world believe the horror that unfolded at a high school in Parkland, Florida could have been prevented. That also includes some families who lost loved ones at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Dec. 2012.
Within minutes of the alleged shooter being identified as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, the speculation began about warning signs. Cruz was described as isolated, having lost both parents and recently expelled from school.
Social media posts from Cruz paint a disturbing picture of a young man with a preoccupation with guns, knives and violence. A comment on a YouTube video by Cruz said, “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.”
Related Content: ‘Start with Hello’ campaign looks to make everyone feel included
The Chairwoman of Newtown Action Alliance, Po Murray, says the latest mass shooting brought many tears, but also anger.
“It was almost as if we were reliving what happened at Sandy Hook with children running out of buildings with hands on their shoulder, hands in the air,” Murray told News 8.
She says the majority of Americans support common sense gun reform, background checks and a ban on assault-style weapons.
“We have to ensure we have steps to prevent a 19-year-old from obtaining a weapon of war that can kill and injure so many people so quickly,” Murray continued. “Donald Trump and the Republican members of Congress will not take action to end gun violence.”
She says we need to keep our elected leaders on a local, state and federal level accountable.
“There will be a pivotal moment when we pass a very strong set of laws like we did in Connecticut.”
Sandy Hook Promise, a non-profit dedicated to teaching about the warning signs of gun violence, composed a blog post reading in part:
Today, not even two months into 2018, we saw the 18th school shooting in America this year. Parkland, Florida joined a rapidly growing number of American communities that have been affected by the deadly consequences of gun violence. A 19-year-old former student pulled the fire alarm and opened fire at terrified students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as they were dismissing for the day, killing at least 17 and injuring many others. Our hearts are with the Parkland, FL community as we understand all too well what the community is going through today, and in the days to come.
This is the fifth school shooting just this month and there were 13 recorded in January 2018. The frequency of school shootings are increasing at an alarming rate, and they happen at this rate nowhere else in the world. Students are only midway through the school year, continuously witnessing attack after attack, by many perpetrators who showed signs of a crisis before they turned violent.
All students across this country deserve to feel safe at school. We can no longer ignore this issue. It is not the time to feel helpless or hopeless, it is time to speak out, take action, and protect our kids from senseless, preventable gun violence.
The post also includes what you can do today to recognize signs of a potentially violent person. It also encourages people to advocate for common sense gun reform.
Both organizations say they will never lose hope because they are creating change and will continue to do so.
For more information on Sandy Hook Promise, click here.
For more information on Newtown Action Alliance, click here.