Parkland (USA), Feb 14 (EFE).- Activities in memory of the 17 victims of the massacre at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland (South Florida) held this Tuesday, the 5th anniversary of this tragic event, have served as platforms for reflection and for US President Joe Biden to announce a fund for the restriction of firearms.
At 10:17 local time (15:17 GMT), students and staff from the Broward County public schools, where the town of Parkland is located, observed a minute of silence in honor of those killed as a result of shots fired with a semi-automatic rifle by Nikolas Cruz.
At Silver Lakes Magnet Middle School, several students wearing red T-shirts sat in the courtyard forming two hearts, in what has been a day of reflection and tribute to the 14 students and 3 school staff members who died on December 14. February 2018.
5 years after the Parkland tragedy
Broward School Superintendent Valerie Wanza pointed out during the activity at this educational center that on this “difficult day for all” we must pay tribute, reflect and transmit positivity to the community.
Throughout the day on Tuesday, several people have come to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School to pay tribute to the victims by means of flowers placed on the improvised mural that has been erected five years ago on one of the exterior fences of the enclosure or keeping moments of silence.
One of them was the Colombian Liliana Rodríguez, who told EFE that a friend of hers, Esperanza Collazo, was a cleaner at the school and was present on the day of the events, after which she left her post due to stress.
He added that his daughter is a teacher at a school in Palm Beach County, north of Parkland, and that he feels that “students are increasingly under more pressure” at the risk of a shooting like the one that occurred in Parkland, the third in a center American school that has left the most victims.
Increased gun control
This Tuesday, President Biden announced a $231 million fund for states that so wish to implement programs aimed at restricting access to firearms and offering mental health treatment.
As Biden explained in a statement, this fund will be distributed by the Department of Justice and will help the states of the country to implement the so-called “red flag programs”, which allow restricting access to weapons to those individuals who pose a danger to them. themselves or for others.
Also, during the day this Tuesday, the state governor, Republican Ron DeSantis, reiterated his promise of a legal change so that Florida judges can impose the death penalty without the need for a unanimous verdict from the jury.
“You kill 17 people, what other penalty can you receive besides the maximum penalty? And yet, you have an obstacle that can nullify that,” he said Tuesday at a press conference, alluding to the life sentence that Cruz received last year, who had pleaded guilty to all charges.
Under Florida law, a unanimous jury was required to recommend the death penalty for Nikolas Cruz, who was 19 when he carried out the killings and has a history of misconduct, aggression and an obsession with guns.
Nikolas Cruz avoided the death penalty
Three of the twelve jurors voted against capital punishment, alleging that Cruz, a former student at the high school scene of the events, suffered from mental problems.
Florida Congressman Jared Moskowitz, a former student of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School and who participated in an event in Parkland on Tuesday, highlighted a law passed by the US Congress. in June last year, when Democrats and Republicans agreed to increase control over firearms for the first time in 30 years, but acknowledged that more needs to be done.
In 2022, at least 19 students and 2 adults died from a shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde (Texas), but the worst massacre in an educational center in the US is that which occurred in 2012 at an elementary school in Sandy Hook (Connecticut) where 26 people lost their lives, 20 of them children ages 6 and 7.