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'Stop this madness:' What it's like in Parkland three weeks later

A former Philly-area resident describes what it's like to live three miles away from Parkland after the horrific school shooting.
Parkland survivors speak about Trump
Trump greets Parkland survivor Samuel Zeif at a listening session Wednesday, Feb. 21. Photo: Getty Images

I recently moved from Central Pennsylvania to Coral Springs, Florida, just three or so miles from Parkland, the scene of the latest school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. 

I have never seen a community in so much pain. Funerals every day! Strangers embracing and comforting each other. There are conversations about the shooting everywhere I go, in stores, restaurants, the supermarket. Now, over two weeks later, all around town people are even more angry, sad, and determined that something good can come out of the horrific events of February 14, 2018. 

Students here are brave, articulate and dedicated to making a change. They are strong and determined. We in the community will help them to make the changes necessary to make getting an education safe. We must have their backs.

The citizens of America are very protective of their rights to own guns, especially in Florida. Americans are often quick to scoff at anyone who tries to introduce measures aimed at controlling the ownership of weapons of war. It's clear, to me, from the incredible increase in these mass shootings since the Assault Weapons Ban expired in 2004, that there has to be something our government can do to protect us.


There are many opinions on how to or whether to ban guns on school property. Our president wants our teachers and staff armed and trained to kill. He does not like gun free zones on school property. (At least that was his opinion this week). The NRA thinks more guns will keep us safe. Common sense does not support these arguments. I just do not understand.

I believe that arming teachers will not stop a person with an assault weapon.  It is clear to me that the only reason for having it is to kill as many people as possible in the smallest amount of time. Armed staff in our schools make no sense to me because if the guns are locked up for safety, to keep out of children’s reach, they will not be readily available in an emergency.  

This is not an option that will make things better.  Making it illegal or much more difficult to purchase these weapons of mass destruction, like the one used in Parkland makes sense. Responsible gun owners should welcome regulations on age, mental health, owning and storing such weapons so that they are no longer used to hunt down innocent people.    

My daughter and daughter in law are teachers, and they should not be the last line of defense against assassination. Making them safe is something I am passionate about, and I will do everything I can to stop this madness.   

Sensible gun laws and regulations are needed to guarantee our lives and future generations. While the second amendment protects the right to bear arms, that right is not unlimited and does not prohibit all regulation of either firearms or similar devices.    

I hope we keep the focus on what happened and don’t miss this opportunity to make changes.

Karyn Macy is the mother of Metro Sports Editor Evan Macy and Philadelphia Charter School teacher Rebecca Macy. She is co-founder of the Lancaster Mother’s Center, National Association of Mother’s Centers (NAMC), and Macy Advertising. She currently resides in Coral Springs, FL.

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