Unlearned Lessons from Parkland to Uvalde: AR-15s in the possession of troubled teens
On February 14, 2018, the confessed murderer of 17 innocents (two faculty members and 15 students) and the wounding of 17 others at Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School used as his weapon of mass destruction an AR-15 rifle.
He acquired his AR-15 shortly after turning 18 despite the fact there were years of documented evidence of mental health issues and he was too young to rent a car or purchase a beer. He returned to his former high school toting that AR-15 and perpetrated his crimes at age 19. He destroyed the lives of so many: Those he senselessly murdered and wounded, those who had to run or hide from him, and all the family members and friends forever impacted by the events of that horrific Valentine's Day.
In May 2022, while the Parkland shooter's highly publicized sentencing trial had not yet begun, and days after the fourth anniversary of another mass school shooting at Santa Fe Texas leaving two teachers and ten students dead and 13 wounded, another troubled 18 year old came into possession of an AR-15 this time in Uvalde, Texas.
Toting that AR-15 with hundreds of rounds of bullets, he entered Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022 and murdered 19 kids and two teachers. He also wounded several others, including a teacher who witnessed every one of his students murdered in Classroom 111.
The WVPI has been raising awareness of the ways we can prevent the next Parkland or Santa Fe or Uvalde from ever happening for years. We want you to join us in our efforts.
Please watch the following video from a past WVPI symposium where Florida Senator Victor Torres was a featured speaker. Senator Torres discussed the dangers of AR-15s in the hands of troubled teens, the need for workplace and school violence prevention, the problems of bullying, cyberbullying and more:
Pictured left to right: Kathleen M. Bonczyk, Esq. founder of the WVPI, Angela Suttner activist and mother of Kenneth "Kenny" Suttner who died at 17 of self-murder following years of bullying, and Rachel Birse whose sole sibling Ryan was murdered at work by a disgruntled co-worker.