The Criterion

The Parkland Shooting and the NRA

Brandon Robles '18, Staff-Writer

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On February 14, Valentine’s Day of all things, Nikolas Jacob Cruz had arrived at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Unlike most shootings, Cruz had actually attempted to flee the area rather than commit suicide. This led to his arrest later that same day, thanks to school surveillance showing his identity. Surprisingly, Cruz’s behavior and personality had everyone believe he would be one to shoot up the school, even to the point where multiple messages were sent regarding his comments about doing the act to authorities. This went ignored however, and the massacre went underway.

Cruz began his plan in motion by calling an Uber for a rode to Stoneman around 2:19. When he arrived at the school, his plan of getting everyone out of the school via fire alarm failed. Cruz decided to enter the school to begin his massacre, where students and teachers put lockdown into effect. Authorities soon reached the school as Cruz was able to escape by blending in with fleeing students. However, officials identified him using school surveillance footage and arrested him later on in the day, which broke the motif of such shooters committing suicide after plans fail.

One flaw in authorities was the inability to answer messages regarding Cruz’s behavior and the red flags he gave before the shooting. Multiple calls were sent about his disturbing comments toward committing the massacre. His Instagram account had been littered with pictures of him alongside various guns. The biggest red flag would be a comment he had posted on an unknown video where he stated that he wished to be a “professional school shooter” using the username nikolascruz. However, even the FBI had not checked into Cruz’s demeanor and online activity, allowing him to go along with his plans.

But the real problem in this entire situation was the process of Cruz’s purchase of the gun. Apparently, he bought an AR-15, an assault rifle, from a gun store legally back in 2016.  Florida’s law on purchasing large firearms require that the buyer be older than 18. Despite mental issues he had, Cruz passed the background check and bought the rifle that would be layer discarded as he fled. This entire flaw in the check has prompted Florida to revise their gun laws concerning mental health, but Florida survivors took a different approach to the matter.

The survivors of the shooting have decided to protest against the National Rifle Association of America (NRA) for their legal distribution of assault rifles. Because of said protest, most companies with affiliations to the NRA have cut ties to them such as United Airlines, while those have yet to break their ties like Bass Pro Shops. NRA supporters have been shown to be quite toxic towards the survivors so much as to send death threats to them. There are even conspiracists believing that the shooting had been planned by officials to get such weapons, all while the survivors are disgusted at the accusations of a shooting they just survived. That being said, there will be strive to get stricter control on the lethal weapons that shouldn’t even be used in this country.

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The student news site of Bridgeport Central High School
The Parkland Shooting and the NRA