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Florida shooting survivors and family call for action

As the country reels from the shooting in Parkland, Florida on Feb. 14, survivors, parents and community members call for political action.

Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, allegedly shot 17 students at the same school. He faces 17 counts of premeditated murder, according to the New York Times.

This is the 18th shooting of 2018 and one of the 290 since the beginning of 2013, according to WFAA. Cruz used an AR-15 in the shooting, and the Broward County sheriff’s office had received around 20 calls over the past two years regarding Cruz, according to the New York Times.

This event brings two important issues to America’s forefront: gun control and mental health.

Many congressmen have said that they were praying for the families and survivors, but refrained from making any stand on the topic of gun control.

Gun control has always been a very controversial issue for the American public, and on Thursday President Trump in his speech at The White House made no mention of gun control. Instead, he focused on the issue of mental health and community action.

“No child, no teacher should ever be in danger in an American school,” Trump said in his speech, “We are all joined together as one American family.”

Trump has responded in a similar way to shootings in the past, focusing on the mental health aspect rather than the gun control.

“We are committed to working with state and local leaders to help secure our schools and tackle the difficult issue of mental health,” Trump said in his speech. “Later this month, I will be meeting with the nation’s governors and attorney generals where making our schools and our children safer will be our top priority.”

Mills has an optional Emergency Notification Service that provides emergency alerts and safety information to registered cell phones. Students can enroll in the service through their portal. Mills’ public safety department also has an educational video that is available upon request. The video outlines how to respond to an active shooter situation.

In a video the New York Times put out, survivors of the shooting call for lawmakers to do something about gun control and shootings.

“I want them to stop saying that they’re giving us their prayers because that’s not going to do anything for us. We need action,” survivor Lyliah Skinner said in the video.

As the survivors and family of the victims in the shooting call for political action by representatives and government lawmakers, Mills students can contact their local senator and representative. Huffington Post has an example letter and a guide to help people get started on making a change. If writing a letter is not your style, phoning or tweeting at your senators and representatives is also covered.

“It’s time to put petty things aside about partisanship, and it’s time to think about humanity,” survivor Nikhita Nookala said in the video.