Valentine’s Day for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. was extremely devastating. Nineteen-year-old Nickolas Cruz made his way into the high school, took aim and pulled the trigger. Seventeen lives were lost with others wounded. During the event many videos were recorded and pictures were taken by students with their cell phones and then posted. The videos are graphic because some show bodies covered in blood lying on the floor while in others, only the sound of the gunshots are audible.
Obviously, like any other picture or video on the internet the videos received many views and comments. Most of them were negative. Instead of showing support, people were bashing the students for posting videos with such horrific content. Many said it was “disrespectful to the people whose child is lying on the ground” and questioning “why find the need to record something like that?” Others begged the individual to put the video down with comments like “Please delete. Have some respect for the victims.”
What would have happened if those videos hadn’t been recorded? Would the “Florida Shooting” have caused such a big impact like it did? I’ll be the first to say that because of the videos that I came across on my Twitter, I was shocked and immediately wanted to do something to create a change in regards to gun control laws and the safety of our schools. Seeing students lying on the floor as their classmates yelled in horror in the background traumatized me and made me choke with an anxiety I had never felt. The mere thought that it could have been my school, my friend being shot right next to me, I was filled with fear. The videos made me feel like I was there and at the same time I also felt that there was a great need for desperate and quick change.
“The shooting captured on cell phone video by terrified students at the suburban high school about an hour north of Miami, has renewed a national debate on how to prevent more tragedies,” the article “Florida Shooting: Nikolas Cruz Told Police How He Began Shooting Students ‘in the Hallways’” by the New York Times states.
Key words: “terrified students.”
The students recording were indeed extremely terrified. Exiting their school safely wasn’t guaranteed to them. They needed to make sure that people knew what happened inside the classrooms that day. The videos showed the reality of crying out loud, just like pictures from World War II that revealed dead Jews in concentration camps. Why are those pictures okay to keep up for the world to see; because World War II really marked history?
The Florida shooting will mark history just as deep as it has marked people’s lives.
“No, if we had to live through it, you should have to live through it too, if that’s what it’s gonna take for you to understand what it feels like then watch the freakin video,” Emma Gonzalez said in an interview. The videos reveal the gravity of the mass shooting, they impact the event had on the victim’s lives.
For the people that questioned why anybody would even want to begin recording at a moment like that, David Hogg, a student from Marjory High school answers by saying “I started recording because I realized that, if I died, I wanted to have a good story to tell. And a story that would echo on and show people that there is a serious issue in this country that people need to face, take a long hard look at and realize blood is being spilled on the floors of American classrooms and that is not acceptable.”
Hoggs statement shows how yes, he recorded because he didn’t know if he would be alive the next day, but also because he, in that moment, became aware of a great issue in America which is gun control.
There have been 18 school shootings. There has been no change.
Clearly, something isn’t being done right.
Many innocent lives were lost. Students that died so young and will never get to say “I graduated”. The issue is greater than the fact that it was being recorded for people to stream. In fact, it is because it was recorded so many people have been impacted, and now, more people want to find a solution to America’s gun problem.