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The BluePrint Online

The student news site of Hagerty High School

The BluePrint Online

The student news site of Hagerty High School

The BluePrint Online

Fired Up: Feb. 14—a day of love turned to mourning, again

On Feb. 14, a mass shooting took place during the Kansas City Chiefs victory parade. With both Valentines day and the sixth anniversary of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High Schools mass shooting, this has left the country looking for answers.
photo by Javier Gonzalez-Duarte
On Feb. 14, a mass shooting took place during the Kansas City Chief’s victory parade. With both Valentine’s day and the sixth anniversary of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s mass shooting, this has left the country looking for answers.

Yellow and red confetti flies through the air.

So do bullets.

On Feb. 14, a day to celebrate loving relationships, hearts in Kansas City, Missouri were broken. After their Super Bowl win on Sunday, Feb. 11, the Kansas City Chiefs were welcomed home by an estimated 1 million people at their victory parade. According to the New York Times, two armed men were detained after shots were fired at the end of the parade, killing at least one and injuring 21—children included.

According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 49 mass shootings in the United States as of Feb. 14—the 45th day of the year. This is a concerning and horrific statistic, and one that Americans have grown too accustomed to.

I can clearly picture Feb. 14, 2018. I was sitting at a cafe on vacation with my family from Miami. My aunt opened Facebook to see “alleged shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.” Less than an hour later, my older cousin, who attended a high school only four miles from Stoneman, FaceTimed us from her school where she was under lockdown for an active shooter. I remember the fear in her voice. I remember the fear I felt for my family, even though I was 2,499 miles away.

If that much fear can be instilled in an 11 year-old over FaceTime, imagine the terror felt by mass shooting victims and survivors.

Almost every day since the Stoneman shooting, there has been a mass shooting in the U.S. I cannot clearly remember every day, like I do Feb. 14, 2018, but the millions of Americans affected by these shootings do. And now for citizens of Kansas City, Feb. 14, 2024 will be one they can clearly picture.

Why is someone’s right to arms valued over my right to live? My right to liberty? My pursuit of happiness?

— Nadia Knoblauch

How have we come to the point where mass shootings are so common? How can a day of love turn into one of mourning twice in six years? And why have our leaders done nothing to make the U.S. safer?

The shooting in Missouri, an open carry state, emphasizes the danger that open carry laws and concealed weapons pose to the public. It is almost dystopian—women across the country have lost the right to abortion, but people can carry a concealed weapon in public legally? How is one murder and the other a right of “protection?” If lawmakers truly want to preserve life in America, guns and assault rifles need to be properly accounted for.

To say the U.S.’ handle on guns has gotten out of control would be an understatement. Not only does gun violence destroy Americans’ trust in their officials and public safety, but it costs the U.S. nearly $557 billion per year—five times the nation’s Department of Education budget. The argument of Second Amendment rights is one I’ve grown tired of. Why is someone’s right to arms valued over my right to live? My right to liberty? My pursuit of happiness?

I don’t want or expect lawmakers to send search parties into houses, grabbing every gun they see. That would be ridiculous and a clear violation of privacy. However, I do hope our officials will tighten the ability to buy weapons, increase background checks and value the safety of children and families over the opinions of close-minded adults.

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About the Contributor
Nadia Knoblauch, Editor-in-chief
Nadia Knoblauch is a senior at Hagerty High School and this is her third year on staff. Nadia has strong passions for journalism and activism, serving as the Vice Chair of Communications for the Florida Scholastic Press Association and Florida Coalition Leader for the United Nations’ Girl Up Initiative. She was named FSPA's Emerging Young Journalist in 2022 and hopes to study Political Science and Journalism in college.
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