1 Year Anniversary of Valentine’s Day Massacre

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Sam Stone

“Watch out today,” my friend Max’s phone read. It was their mother, wishing that they would be safe. One a day about sweethearts and chocolate, their mother thought of a new “holiday.”

A year ago today, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Nikolas Cruz opened fire, killing 17 people. He was a former student and 19 at the time of the incident. A year later, he has yet to formally face trial. The death penalty is on the table and Cruz’s team currently is fighting to get a plea deal to get him life in prison without parole.

The year brought a strong movement of student activism. Even in Lakewood. With the walkouts, the rally, the group of students that went to the March For Our Lives in Washington DC.

The survivors became political activists that strive to affect change, along with their peers across the country. One wonders, has it worked?

Sixty-seven new pieces of legislation have been passed at the state level, restricting guns in 26 states. This includes unregistered guns, mental illness, background checks, bump stocks (a modifier that can turn a semiautomatic fully automatic), etc.

One looks back and wonders of its implications. Politics aside, what has the ethos suffered? There exists a breach in a safe space for children. The place they spend most of their time outside of the home. A place that is to shape the rest of one’s life, becomes someone’s final memory.

It’s a tragedy no matter how one hashes it. The past year has been about activism but survivors now deem this anniversary as a time to mourn. The shock is gone but the awe lingers for these students, some now graduates and still activists.

A moment out of one’s celebration should be given to the lost lives.