Post-tragedy: Florida students spark gun discussion

On Feb. 14, 2018, 17 people were killed, and 14 people were injured during a school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

The Parkland Florida shooting is the 8th school shooting this year,  and only three of those eight school shootings have resulted in fatalities. Nikolas Cruz is being held in custody and is accused of 17 counts of murder.

The Parkland school shooting has sparked protests and gun control debates. Due to this shooting, the Florida State Senate Committee has proposed a new bill which raises the gun buying age from 18 to 21. This new bill will also allow teachers, who have completed proper law enforcement training and are deputized by their local sheriff’s office, the option to carry a concealed firearm.

President Trump has met with governors, including Florida Governor Rick Scott, to discuss plans to reduce the risk of future school shootings. Trump pledges to focus his action on improving mental health screening and background checks.

In the wake of the Florida Shooting, Michael Munford, SMSU’s director of Public Safety, reminds students that the best way to prevent school shootings is to report any suspicious behavior. SMSU has faculty in place to help students who are struggling. Through the SMSU Public Safety website, individuals can anonymously report crimes or suspicious activity.

SMSU maintains a safe campus environment by maintaining a close working relationship with the local law enforcement and conducting regular safety training with faculty and staff. In conjugatoin with local law enforcement, Public Safety also conducts safety training and demonstrations for students and university faculty. Public Safety patrols the campus and monitors campus activity. The annual crime security and fire safety report compiled by Public Safety is available to the public and can be found on their website.

Munford recommends that students review emergency procedures. The SMSU website has a video demonstrating the ‘Run, Hide, Fight’ active shooter plan. Evacuation procedures and emergency protocols can also be found on the Public Safety website. Public Safety offers a free alert system and recommends that students utilize that service.