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September 24, 2020

Florida still reeling two years after Parkland shooting - Tip News

Florida still reeling two years after Parkland shooting

Florida still reeling two years after Parkland shooting
'A memorial to the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school shootings is pictured on February 14, 2019, one year after the massacre' - By: Getty/AFP/File JOE RAEDLE

Two years after 17 students and faculty members were gunned down in one of the worst mass shootings in US history, survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School remembered the slain victims on Friday.

Families attended ceremonies near the site of the massacre in Parkland, Florida, as schools across the country observed a minute of silence at 10:17 am (1517 GMT) for the 14 students and three staff murdered by an ex-pupil.

"Two years ago at approximately 7am, I sent my two children to school. I was so busy rushing them out the door so that they would not be late that my final words were not 'I love you,'" tweeted Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was among the dead.

"Jesse came home that day. Jaime did not."

The shooting actually began around 2.20pm on February 14, 2018 but organizers chose 10.17 am, with the minutes past the hour representing the 17 victims.

The shooting inspired Parkland survivors to lead the March for Our Lives movement in support of legislation to prevent gun violence, chronicled in the documentary "Us Kids," which debuted at last month's Sundance Film Festival.

Director Kim A. Snyder told AFP the Parkland survivors were not "unlike a lot of amazing young people" that have started up high-profile social justice campaigns.

The documentary is told from the perspective of the students, whose fury, pain and frustration can be seen "transforming... into sheer action and determination and hope," Snyder said.

March for Our Lives helped organize nationwide protests for gun regulations, but the federal government has taken few steps to strengthen gun control laws.

There were a record 417 mass shootings in the US in 2019, according to the research group Gun Violence Archive.