Photos Of Florida's Historic Capitol Show The State Honored Parkland In A Meaningful Way
It's been one year since a school shooting in Parkland, Florida left 17 dead and reenergized the national movement for gun reform. To mark the anniversary, state officials will light the Florida Historic Capitol orange for Parkland victims every night from Tuesday through Sunday.
Orange is the official color of the movement against gun violence, chosen because hunters often wear the color while they're in the woods to avoid getting shot. Many students who participated in the National School Walkout last year wore orange because of its significance.
So to mark the anniversary of the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, officials organized a special display at the Florida Historic Capitol Museum (the state's former capitol building that's within the current Florida Capitol complex). The Florida Cabinet voted unanimously to light the building orange when Commissioner Nikki Fried brought a proposal forward, WBBH-TV reports.
"As we approach a difficult day for our state, let this week of orange serve as a token of hope, and a pledge that the 17 Parkland victims will not be forgotten," Fried said of the decision, per WBBH-TV. "Let us pledge that no victim of gun violence will be forgotten. And let us work together to address the threat of gun violence in our communities."
Fred Guttenberg, the father of a Parkland victim, told WBBH-TV that he appreciated the gesture. "I'm grateful and appreciative for Commissioner Fried's continued advocacy and support of the Parkland victims and families — and of all families who have suffered due to gun violence," he said. 'This symbol of honor and respect is also a symbol of hope for the future, as we continue the important work of taking on America's gun violence crisis and making our communities safer."
On Feb. 14 of last year, a gunman entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in the city of Parkland and opened fire, killing 14 students and three employees. The massacre inspired an intense wave of activism from survivors and students around the country; at least 1.2 million people nationally attended the March for Our Lives, per Vox, making it one of the biggest youth protests since the Vietnam War.
Although Parkland was perhaps the most high-profile instance of gun violence last year, it was far from the only shooting. According to the Since Parkland project, almost 1,200 people aged 18 and under were killed by gun violence in the year since the Parkland shooting. Teen journalists wrote a profile for every single victim as part of the project to honor "every family who planned a funeral too soon," the website says.
According to the Associated Press, dozens of new gun laws have passed in the year following Parkland. Many of them imposed restrictions on gun ownership, such as bans on bump stocks, while others loosened existing rules.
A new poll from NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist suggests that Americans feel less urgency for gun reform than they did in the immediate aftermath of Parkland, though a slim majority of people are still in favor of stricter firearm laws. Since securing control of the House of Representatives, Democrats have vowed to make gun control a priority over the next two years.