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A photo illustration of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School By Formulanone (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS MORNING

A former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland (that’s at the northern edge of Broward) opened fire at the school yesterday around 2:40 p.m. He killed 17 people and injured 16 more with an assault rifle. He’s now in police custody. We don’t know his motive yet. The high school is going to be closed at least for the rest of the week.

This piece tells the story of what happened in the school.  At least one student tweeted throughout the shooting.

On Monday, Parkland was identified as one of the safest cities in the U.S..

WHO IS THE SHOOTER?

His name is Nikolas Cruz, and the 19-year-old was expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas for disciplinary problems. People who knew him described him as obsessed with weapons, and he worried one teacher enough that they warned against letting him on campus with a backpack. This Sun-Sentinel piece has a lot more detail about his childhood.

HOW EASY IS IT TO GET A GUN IN FLORIDA?

Pretty easy, because our background check laws are pretty lax. According to federal law, licensed firearm dealers have to do background checks on buyers, but private sellers – i.e. a normal person who just wants to sell his or her  gun – do not. We also don’t require gun owners to register their guns, nor do we regulate assault weapons.

If you want to really wonk out on this, the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence has an extensive rundown of our state laws here.

Many of us thought the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando would change things, but in the year after, not a single state-level attempt to strengthen Florida’s gun laws passed. The only thing that passed was an expansion of Stand Your Ground.

TODAY the Florida Senate Appropriations Committee will hear SB740, a whopper of an agricultural bill. What does that have to do with this? Buried in the bill is a provision that would require the state department of agriculture to give a concealed weapons permit applicant a permit within 90 days, even if a required full background check isn’t done yet. The League of Women Voters has the full rundown on that shadiness.

WHAT ARE MY POLITICAL LEADERS TWEETING?

President Trump:

My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting. No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school.

U.S. Senator Rubio:

Just spoke to Broward School Superintendent. Today is that terrible day you pray never comes.

Fun fact: Only five members of Congress have received more National Rifle Association money than Rubio over the course of their careers, according to The New York Times.

U.S. Senator Nelson:

Our worst fears are being realized. It looks like it’s a number of fatalities. Praying for all those students, families and school members affected at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Representative Deutch, whose district includes Parkland:

Parkland is an idyllic community.  Tragedies like this occur everywhere. School shootings occur everywhere.  This is horrific.

Governor Scott:

Just spoke with @POTUS about shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. My thoughts and prayers are with the students, their families and the entire community. We will continue to receive briefings from law enforcement and issue updates.

Broward County Schools Superintendent Runcie:

Today we experiencing the worst of humanity as an unspeakable tragedy has hit our @browardschools family at Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS. There has been a shooting on campus with injuries and fatalities.  We are working with law enforcement as we pray for our babies and families.

WHAT CAN I DO IF I WANT TO ADVOCATE FOR MORE GUN CONTROL?

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America has a local chapter. Learn more and get involved here. Text JOIN to 64433 to get updates about events and campaigns.

On Feb. 26, local grassroots gun control group Parents of Murdered Kids is holding a town hall to address gun violence in Miami. You can find those details here.


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WHAT'S NEW IN THE 305

Drake does it again. As if donating money to the Lotus House, giving a UM student a scholarship, writing a hefty check to Miami High, and buying everyone’s groceries at a Sabor Tropical wasn’t enough, Drake ALSO treated a hotel worker at the Fontainebleau to a fabulous day of pampering at her own hotel, then took her on a shopping spree. He first heard about Odelie Paret from a Miami Herald story about how the affordable housing crisis was driving hotel workers like her further away from their jobs, forcing four-hour commutes every day. So Drake decided to treat her. (Miami Herald)

Watch where you swim. Because it’s Portuguese Man O’War season, and those things HURT. Look for purple flags flying from the lifeguard stands when you hit the beach. (WLRN)

It’s gonna be lit. Superhero movie Black Panther premieres this weekend, and there are celebrations happening EVERYWHERE. Here in SoFlo, locals are organizing a red carpet premiere at the Aventura AMC theater, and on Saturday night, they’re throwing an adult prom. What’s the big deal? This essay explains why this movie, the first with an almost entirely black cast, is so important RN. (Miami New Times, Miami.com)

Flip it. On Tuesday, a Democratic candidate beat the Republican one in a special election for a  Sarasota-area Florida House seat. Why should you care? Because it was a solidly Republican seat, she won by a solid percentage, and this is the third time in a row that’s happened in Florida, a very important swing state that usually goes red. That could mean some major changes in November’s midterm election. (POLITICO)

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EVENTS

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THAT’S ALL FOR TODAY.

What other questions do you have about the shooting that we can help answer? How can we help you process what happened? Hit reply and let us know.