Valentine's Tragedy: Nikolas Cruz's Mass Shooting

It was supposed to be a day of celebration of love and friendship; but it ended up being a loss for many families. On, February 14th, 2018, Nikolas Cruz opened fire at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas; killing 17 innocent people. Right after the incident, many students at the school said that they knew that something like this would happen; and that it was Nikolas Cruz. Why? Because of his behaviors, he bullied and harassed many innocent classmates during his school years at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas.

After this incident, tension has risen among U.S. citizens wanting to establish stronger gun control laws. However, gun control alone is not a solution to mass shooting.

Treating mental illnesses, monitoring student’s behaviors, and improved gun control measures are among the solutions to mass shootings in the U.S. Perhaps, not all mass shooters are mentally ill; however, if their unstable behavior interacts with their everyday lives they might commit violent acts which can lead to mass shooting.

Even though, a few people with a history of mental illnesses have committed mass shootings, individuals with distressed emotions such as anger, aggravations, and revenge tend to commit violent acts especially if they own a gun (Knoll, 2010). The issue with these type of people is that they don’t seek treatment, and they plan their actions insecret. According to Karen Lopez, Cruz’s ex friend, ‘He verbally assaulting us, talking about killing us, doing things to our corpses, killing our parents, friends, and family and all of this was right there,’ she said.

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‘As a teenager I shouldn’t have to look over my shoulder and see some creepy kid that I know because he’s talking about killing me” (Krauth, 2018). Moreover, since students spend most of their time in school, monitoring a student’s behavior is important. To avoid violent acts, disturbed behaviors should me caught early; and reported if it is suspected that it may lead to more serious actions.

In the case of Nikolas Cruz, we all ask ourselves: Could this massacre have been stopped? According to people that knew Cruz, as early as the age of 9, he used to get into rock fights with other kids his age. As he grew up, he was a fan of killing animals; also, he expressed interest in firearms; posting photos on social media of himself holding guns and knives. His behavior was so disturbed that he once mentioned in front of his peers that he will become a famous “school shooter” (Andone, 2018). The questionwe might all be asking ourselves is: Why did no one notice? Why did no one intervene? Why were the long list of disciplinary problems and mental health concerns that school officials knew about were discarded? In his early years, Nikolas Cruz was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, in 2013, his adoptive mom called the county police stating that her son had anger problems and ADHD. In 2014, Cruz was transferred to a school for adolescents with behavior and emotional problems.

In 2016, Cruz was enrolled into Marjorie Stoneman Douglas; where he posted on social media that he would shoot up the school. These were just some of the behavioral and mental problems that were reported to the Sherriff’s County before Nikolas Cruz opened fire on Marjorie Stoneman Douglas and killed many of his own peers. With all the behavioral issues Nikolas Cruz had, why was he allowed to dispose of firearms as dangerous as an AR-15? All these questions should not be asked, just if schools were able to monitor student’s behaviors and warning signs; which would avoid many fatalities. Similarly, beforebuying a firearm, there should be a system for background checks which would be able to investigate  the person further before issuing him/her a firearm. According to the Quinnipiac Polls, large majorities support efforts to restrict gun purchases; to require background checks for buyers and to ban certain types of guns  While, many researchers believe that mass shooting are not linked with mental illness, a mentally stable person would not think of hurting another human being.

Nevertheless, connecting a person’s mental wellness with restricted gun purchase will help lower incidents of violent acts. A person would not have to be mentally ill, but many are emotionally disturbed, and carry resentment which makes them do things out of their control. We cannot control the bullying and humiliation by peers in schools; but, we can monitor every student’s behavior at every school which can not only help the student’s emotion; nonetheless, avoid many tragedies like the one started by Nikolas Cruz. Reckless disturbed behaviors which can make aperson act aggressive combined with firearms may cost many peoples’ lives (Yu, 2012). People such as Seung-Hui Cho, the shooter at Virginia Tech, Eric David Harris, and Dylan Bennet Klebold, mass killers At Columbine High School, and the most recent tragedy done by Nikolas Cruz at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas; all had signs of mentally disturbed individuals with firearms. A school is a place for safety, motivation, success, and goals not a place where families are to be worried about their children. It was supposed to be a day like no other, a day of love and friendship among peers turned into a tragedy that many would never forget for the rest of their lives. Let’s start the march of our lives, let’s start change.

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Valentine's Tragedy: Nikolas Cruz's Mass Shooting. (2022, Nov 08). Retrieved from

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