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Stunned by massacre, U.S. students demand tighter gun controls

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Stunned by massacre, U.S. students demand tighter gun controls

By Zachary Fagenson and Katanga Johnson



Florida shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez called for tougher gun laws during a rally in Fort Lauderdale, saying 'to every politician who is taking donations from the NRA, shame on you.' 


PARKLAND, Fla. (Reuters) - Stunned by last week's bloodiest high school shooting in U.S. history, students across the country were mobilizing on Sunday for stronger gun laws, while Florida officials contemplated when to reopen their badly shaken school.


Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where a former student is accused of murdering 17 people on Wednesday, joined others on social media to plan rallies, a Washington march and a national walk-out aimed at getting the attention of an adult population many say has failed to protect them.


"I felt like it was our time to take a stand, because, you know, we're the ones in these schools, we're the ones who are having shooters come into our classrooms and our spaces," said Lane Murdock of Ridgefield High School in Connecticut.


Murdock, a 15-old sophomore who lives 20 miles (32 km) from Sandy Hook Elementary School where 20 children and six adults were shot dead five years ago, drew more than 36,000 signatures on an online petition Sunday morning calling on students to walk out of their high schools on April 20.


Instead of going to classes, she urged her fellow students to stage protests on the 19th anniversary of the mass shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado.


Last week's massacre in Florida, which followed several other school shootings this year, inflamed the country's long-simmering debate between advocates for gun control and gun ownership.


Former student Nikolas Cruz, 19, faces multiple murder charges in the deaths of 14 students and three staff members, and the wounding of more than a dozen others, in a rampage that eclipsed Columbine as the country's worst mass shooting at a high school.


The charges can bring the death penalty, but prosecutors have not yet said if they will seek capital punishment.


School officials in Broward County said on Sunday that they were aiming to have staff return to the Douglas High School campus by the end of the week. The school system's announcement did not say when classes would resume.


Cruz was reported to have been investigated by police and state officials as far back as 2016 after slashing his arm in a social media video, and saying he wanted to buy a gun. Authorities, however, determined he was receiving sufficient support, newspapers said on Saturday.


In addition, the Federal Bureau of Investigation admitted on Friday that it failed to investigate a warning that Cruz possessed a gun and the desire to kill.


President Donald Trump lashed out late on Saturday at the FBI for missing signs that could have prevented the shooting, and accused the agency on Twitter of "spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the (2016) Trump campaign." 


The Douglas High School students are planning a "March for Our Lives" in Washington on March 24 to call attention to school safety and ask lawmakers to enact some form of gun control.


"You know, we're marching because it's not just schools, it's movie theatres, it's concerts, it's nightclubs," student Alex Wind said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "This kind of stuff can't just happen."


A rally is set for Tallahassee, the state capital, on Wednesday, where a lawmaker is seeking a legislative opening for a ban on the sale of assault weapons, including the AR-15 that Cruz is alleged to have used.


Democratic State Senator Linda Stewart, who represents Orange County, where 49 people were massacred at the Pulse nightclub in 2016, said she needs to gain support from three Republicans, who control the state legislature, to win passage of her measure but hopes to force a vote even if it fails.


"I think that putting them on record is what needs to be done right now," said Stewart, who said she plans to meet with Douglas High School students in the capital on Tuesday night.


(Writing and additional reporting by Peter Szekely in New York; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

-- © Copyright Reuters 2018-02-19
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2 minutes ago, SpeakeasyThai said:

'Emotional tizzy'

A crass coawardly and callous statemenst.aimed at  the victims and famies and friends of the deceased. I suggest you delete your post or at least reconsider re-wording it. Shameless post.


The hardcore man-child supporters are per definition shameless. If they weren't they couldn't support the bag of pus.

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2 hours ago, Emster23 said:

A quick look south of the border shows us in Mexico guns are much more strongly prohibited and yet the country carries on in what seems like an eternal shootemup.

Legalise drugs and prohib guns in the USA and there will be much less violence in Mexico and other parts of Latin America. 


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2 hours ago, Emster23 said:

The "cooler heads" are all owned by NRA. Vast majority of Americans want sensible gun control. Just what does "stand in solidarity with the victims" mean? Along lines of "this is no time to talk about gun control"? Sorry, but this sort of mass shooting takes place every other day nearly in USA. The "cooler heads" have had years since Sandy Hook and nothing to show other than Trump axing Obama order on prohibiting mentally ill from owning gun.

Can you give us some valid sources about armed teachers in Texas? I was a teacher at high school in USA. If you had spent any time in a classroom (as a teacher or student) you might realize this is an insane idea.

If you were a teacher at a high school, seems you should be able to google some valid sources about armed teachers in Texas:



I think teachers should be allowed to be armed IF they want to be, but seems easier and more effective just to budget a couple of retired armed police or military guards for each school.

That would go a long way to solve this problem, just as armed guards solve it in many other situations.


China, for example, has "sensible gun control" that so many Americans want. So the lunatics attack schools with knives there. As usual for China, the cases that reach the news are the tip of the iceberg.


If you are an unarmed teacher, and know anything about knife attacks, I ain't sure you would prefer trying to avoid you and your students being butchered with a knife over being shot.

Good luck with "sensible knife control" for that! Will make life tough in the kitchen...


Mexico has already been mentioned, and many other countries with higher per capita homicides than the US have supposedly much more "sensible gun control", such as complete bans...


Myself, I would rather be able to have the option to shoot back, and have the school's armed guards as the first line of defense before that.

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8 minutes ago, Cory1848 said:

Insane. If you wish to live in a society where everyone and their drunk uncle is wandering around with loaded weapons, you’re welcome to move to Afghanistan or Somalia or some other place that’s been in perpetual chaos the past several decades. Teachers have other work than being “properly vetted and armed” and students should not have the distraction and edginess of being surrounded by armed adults, any one of whom could pop off without control in a moment of sudden anger, or being armed themselves. What kind of world are you really imagining here ?? Some sort of nostalgic hankering for the Wild West? No thank you.


Well, by the same "sane" logic, if you don't like the realities of US history of civilian gun ownership and Bill of Rights, you are welcome to move to many places where the local armed gang that rules over you reserves the right to own guns only for themselves.


Don't go to the US or live there, just as you wouldn't with Afghanistan or Somalia.


Those who stay in the US and want to keep their existing rights, shouldn't have to leave to keep them. Seems to me that those who don't like those existing rights should leave.

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4 minutes ago, Becker said:

Are you seriously claiming that the "killing potential" of a knife is the same as a semi-automatic rifle??? And unless you can come up with some credible links I am calling BS on your claim that we only "see the tip of the iceberg" in China. China has a sensible gun policy and it works so I love the fact that you bring it up.:cheesy:


No other country on earth has the number of mass killings the US has. The main reason? "With less than 5% of the world’s population, the United States is home to roughly 35–50% of the world’s civilian-owned guns, according to the Small Arms Survey from 2007."



PS. When I see you gun lovers bleet on about "knife control" and such nonsense I ask myself why I even bother replying as the level of debate is so low there is hardly any point in joining in.


We know that anything else negative that happens in China is not reported unless it leaks out. That's one of the reasons that "The Great Firewall" is there!

Are you claiming that their statistics on knife or other weapon attacks would be honest and complete?


Are you claiming that when that lunatic at Sandy Hook caught those little kids in a classroom, after butchering the teacher with a large knife, he didn't have the "killing potential" to butcher too many of those kids?


The biggest "mass killings" throughout history to this day have been done by armed gangs called "governments". They just use euphemisms such as "war", "revolution", etcetera to force everyone to fund and participate in them, including by killing unarmed, defenseless folks. The US government gang is certainly guilty of that throughout its history to this day and age of drone mass killings...


The "semi-automatic" rifles were invented and developed for those mass killings by those same armed gangs through coercive funding.

So, if you really want to go to the historical roots, if there weren't any coercively funded governments to develop and use them in mass killings, guns other than for hunting would never have been even developed, because of lack in demand...


As for homicides per capita statistics:


Looks like US is 93?


Most of the 92 countries above it have practically complete civilian gun ownership bans, and certainly no legal rights for civilians to carry guns for self defense:



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BANGKOK 25 March 2018 10:40