Enough Is Enough! How Many More Children & People Have To Die?

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Courtesy/Betsy Farrell

It’s the Friday after one of the largest mass shootings in U.S. history has taken place at a Florida high school affecting the lives of so many innocent people forever.

A day when distraught and broken families are preparing to bury their loved ones who fell victim to a 19-year-old mass murderer named Nikolas Cruz who was armed with an AR-15 assault rifle.

A day filled with many questions and few answers.

Today is also the day that President Trump is meeting with the people who were most severely impacted by the tragic and senseless shooting that claimed the lives of 17 innocent souls ranging from 14 to 49 years of age. Heartbreaking!

Meanwhile, this morning White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah talked to reporters, acknowledging that the sick teenager acquired the AR-15 assault rifle through a legal background check. While they did not know all of the circumstances involved, Shah stated that the shooter “shouldn’t have had that weapon and shouldn’t have been able to do the kind of things that he did.”

Shah concluded that “in the wake of tragedies you have to look at everything,” specifically mentioning mental health to school safety.

What about looking at the elephant in the room that the administration seems to be turning a blind eye to? What about the controversial issue of gun ownership and stricter gun legislation that we are reminded is needed each time horrific shootings such as this occur in the U.S.?

In addition to Trump, who has not mentioned the gun used in the shooting, other notable politicians are speaking out about the tragedy and offering their sincere condolences to those affected.

Both Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Governor Rick Scott have shared heartfelt words of sorrow and prayer. They are also among those in office who have “excellent” voting records on Second Amendment issues, promote and defend the right to keep and bear arms and have longstanding relationships and the financial support of the NRA.

They have also made the news for hunting animals; a matter that animal advocates take very seriously.

While responding to an assertion made by Rubio, a Republican, to CNN that stricter gun laws could not have prevented the shooting, Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, also of Florida, stated that “we don’t know that.”

Senator Bill Nelson said that the mass murder is the result of mental illness or a lack of protection at schools which is only a part of the problem.

But then he also said this…

“I was raised on a ranch. I’ve had guns all my life. I’ve hunted all my life. I still hunt with my son,” Nelson concluded to the horror of animal advocates everywhere. “You don’t need an AR-15 for hunting. An AR-15 is not for hunting, it’s for killing.”

It is unfathomable to many compassionate people how Nelson could assert that killing people is a travesty but killing innocent animals is alright…in the same speech?

Neither should be legal!

It is also incomprehensible, but sadly not surprising, that Cruz, like many criminals, has also allegedly abused and killed animals of which he has boasted about on social media.

“It is no surprise to PETA that before he allegedly massacred 17 people at a school in Parkland, Florida, Nikolas Cruz is said to have talked about shooting small animals, including lizards, squirrels, frogs, and a neighbor’s chickens, and reportedly sent his dog to a neighbor’s house to attack the pigs there,” Stephanie Bell, senior director of cruelty casework at PETA said in a statement. “The FBI has identified cruelty to animals as a warning sign of more violence to come, and many school shooters and serial killers have a history of abusing animals. While the issues of gun control and mental health rage on, one simple way to prevent future acts of violence is for local law-enforcement officials to pursue the strongest penalties possible in animal cruelty cases, for everyone’s sake, and for those who hear about or witness animal abuse to report it.”

To be clear, everyone agrees, what matters most here is the loss of innocent lives, the now shattered worlds of those they left behind. Drastic measures must be taken and changes must be made so this does not happen over and over again. It should have never happened in the first place!

We also must represent the voiceless animals who, quietly and against their will, are often involved in the beginning of this major issue.

Today is the day to do something positive to keep our children, animals, ourselves, and our nation safe, whether it be making a donation to help the families of the victims, spreading awareness and kindness, or rescue animals instead of killing them for trophies. Everyone can do something!

Financial donations can be made to the official fund set up by the non-profit, Broward Education FoundationHERE!

Rest In Peace & May God Bless: Alyssa Alhadeff, Scott Beigel, Martin Duque Anguiano, Nicholas Dworet, Aaron Feis, Jaime Guttenberg, Chris Hixon, Luke Hoyer, Cara Loughran, Gina Montalto, Joaquin Olivier, Alaina Petty, Meadow Pollack, Helena Ramsey, Alex Schachter, Carmen Schentrup, Peter Wang

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