Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel lambasted Republican lawmakers for refusing to address sensible gun control laws after a school shooting left 17 people ― primarily children ― dead, saying that they “won’t be re-elected” if they don’t push for gun control laws.
“If you are an elected official and you want to keep things the way they are and not do things differently, if you wanna keep the gun laws as they are now — you will not get re-elected in Broward County,” Israel said during a candlelight filled vigil, where thousands of students, parents, teachers and community members attempted to make sense of the senseless.
The statements receiving a round of applause and standing ovation from the crowd.
On Wednesday afternoon, a former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, opened fire on school campus. In addition to those who died in the attack, more than a dozen people were injured, some critically, several news outlets reported.
But the same children learning to deal with an unspeakable horror didn’t mince words about how this tragedy could have been prevented: gun control.
“No more guns! No more guns!” a sea of chants began at one point, led by students as furious as they were heartbroken.
Arianna Ali, a 17-year-old junior, heard the gunshots and screams of her fellow classmates. She and other students first thought it may have been a fire, she said.
“We started running to the auditorium, and that’s when I heard the gunshots and the screaming,” Ali told HuffPost. “My class just scattered. Me and my best friend ran into my English teacher’s class and hid in the corner for about 35 minutes, but it felt like hours.”
When asked what could have prevented the tragedy, Ali didn’t hesitate.
“Stricter gun laws,” she said. “Especially in Florida, because we have the most relaxed laws.”
Parents and students alike have called for President Donald Trump to enact better gun control laws, but so far, Trump has only managed to disparage the mentally ill and seemingly place blame on students for not knowing the shooter “was a big problem.” He’s made no mention of guns.