Parkland Shooting Anniversary
One year ago, on Valentine’s Day, a 19-year-old former student walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and opened fire, changing the lives of hundreds of people forever. 17 students and teachers were killed that day, and 14 others were wounded in one of the deadliest shootings in United States history. The shooting spawned a renewed call for gun regulation across the nation, along with creating a new generation of activists.
In the year since, the Never Again MSD movement was born. Survivors such as Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, and Cameron Kasky were key figures in organizing events like the March for Our Lives, which had over 1 million participants across the country demanding safer schools and an end to gun violence. In St Paul alone, more than 18,000 people participated in a march that culminated on the lawn of the Capitol.
Gun violence prevention advocacy group Protect Minnesota spent a day on the hill this week to raise awareness around gun violence. They hosted a press conference to highlight the new Minnesota Department of Health statistics on gun deaths in Minnesota, where legislators called upon the Senate to be open to receiving the background check and red flag legislation that is expected to reach the House floor during this session. Protect Minnesota members spent the remainder of the afternoon in the Capitol Rotunda, first hosting a memorial in honor of the Parkland victims, featuring student speakers from local high schools, and later a reading of the names of Minnesotans who lost their lives to gun violence in 2018.