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Parkland students arrive in Florida capital to urge action on gun reform

24 February 2018

The normally staid Florida Statehouse filled with students, among them more than 100 survivors of the February 14 attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, on the edge of the Everglades.

The students marched to the Florida State Capitol, one week after deputies said former classmate Nikolas Cruz, 19, killed 17 people and injured more than a dozen more at the school.

Rick Scott said after reciting the names of all 17 killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine's Day, "But it's important to remember them". "The students" biggest wish, banning assault-type weapons such as the AR-15, the weapon used by suspect Nikolas Cruz, was taken off the table the previous day in the House.

"We are going to make a difference", Simon Kenton High School junior Katelyn Neuhaus said Wednesday, according to the Enquirer.

"I listened to their heartbreaking stories, asked them for their ideas, and pledged to them we will take action, unlike for many years where people sitting in my position did not take action".

"There's a tremendous feeling that we want to get something done. including at the [National Rifle Association]", Trump said, adding that lawmakers are interested in "doing background checks that maybe they wouldn't be thinking about" a few weeks ago.

Israel said that Deputy Scott Peterson was outside of the building during the time of the shooting.

"We must do more to protect our children", said Trump, a strong and vocal supporter of gun rights.

Israel said Peterson should have "went in, addressed the killer, killed the killer", according to the AP.

Broward County Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie told the Times that the legislative aide's comments were "outrageous and disrespectful".

Many complained that they are not being taken seriously by lawmakers.

In the Florida state capital, dozens of Stoneman students, teachers, and parents wore bright blue T-shirts and carried signs reading "We Call B.S." which has become a battle cry since a Stoneman senior shouted the words during a gun control rally after the shooting.

At a town hall held by CNN in Sunrise, Florida, on Wednesday night, thousands of angry students, teachers and parents booed Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, Bill Nelson and Rep. Ted Deutch. "And, when I saw it was a South Florida high school was shot up, I thought it was mine". Legislators may also enact a waiting period for rifle purchases.

Sheriff Israel's department has faced scrutiny for never committing Cruz to a mental health facility under the Baker Act, which allows the state to involuntarily commit individuals deemed a threat to themselves or others.

The rifles will not be fully automatic and will only be handled by deputies who are "trained and qualified" to operate them, Israel said. Defense attorneys, state records and people who knew him indicate that he displayed behavioral troubles for years.

Laredo said he's following the lead of students at his school, and he plans to participate in the protests and marches that they organize, including a possible bus trip to Washington D.C. for the March for Our Lives on March 24. "We're asking to help save student lives", he said.

"Somebody would say, 'He's on the second floor, ' and we had guys on the second floor saying, 'We're on the second floor, we don't see him.' That's when we figured out there's a tape delay", Pustizzi told the Sun Sentinel. "They say that tougher gun laws do not prevent gun violence", shouted 18-year-old Emma Gonzales, barely pausing to wipe away the tears that were streaming down her face.

Parkland students arrive in Florida capital to urge action on gun reform