A least 10 people were killed and another 10 injured in a shooting on the campus of Santa Fe High School in Texas. It was the deadliest school shooting since the February 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, when 17 people were murdered.
The tragedy in Santa Fe is still raw, and the police are still piecing together what happened in the hallways of this high school Friday morning. The 17-year-old shooter carried a shotgun and a revolver, but explosive devices were found at the school and the areas surrounding it.
But what is clear: students, and possibly teachers, are dead. It happened again.
No one understood better than the survivors of Parkland, who responded to the shooting with anger and frustration and grief.
“This is not the price of freedom,” March for Our Lives, the organization founded by Parkland students who organized nationwide protests against gun control in March, wrote in a statement. “This is the most fatal shooting since the one at our school and tragedy like this will continue to happen unless action is taken.”
Emma Gonzalez, one of the most vocal Parkland activists, wrote: “You deserve more than Thoughts and Prayers, and after supporting us by walking out we will be there to support you by raising up your voices.”
Santa Fe High, you didn’t deserve this. You deserve peace all your lives, not just after a tombstone saying that is put over you. You deserve more than Thoughts and Prayers, and after supporting us by walking out we will be there to support you by raising up your voices.— Emma González (@Emma4Change) May 18, 2018
The Parkland activists reinvigorated the gun reform debate in the wake of the shooting at their high school, and they seized on this rampage at Santa Fe as another example of lawmakers’ failure to act. They also offered solidarity and support to the survivors of Santa Fe high school, who have joined this sorrowful club.
Get ready for two weeks of media coverage of politicians acting like they give a shit when in reality they just want to boost their approval ratings before midterms.— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) May 18, 2018
I should be celebrating my last day of high school, but instead my heart is broken to hear of the tragedy at Santa Fe. We cannot let this continue to be the norm. We cannot.— Delaney Tarr (@delaneytarr) May 18, 2018
At least 8 students have been shot and killed at Santa Fe High School.— Cameron Kasky (@cameron_kasky) May 18, 2018
Prepare to watch the NRA boast about getting higher donations.
Prepare to see students rise up and be called ‘civil terrorists’ and crisis actors.
Prepare for the right-wing media to attack the survivors.
To everyone at Santa Fe high school ,I hope youre safe, I’m so sorry this is happening, and I’m so sorry that it continues to https://t.co/zLRbrizYiD one should be in the situation that youre all currently in. Im not going to say thoughts and prayers but instead policy and action— Sarah Chadwick (@Sarahchadwickk) May 18, 2018
My heart is so heavy for the students of Santa Fe High School. It’s an all too familiar feeling no one should have to experience. I am so sorry this epidemic touched your town - Parkland will stand with you now and forever. pic.twitter.com/ckVPxYi6qz— Jaclyn Corin (@JaclynCorin) May 18, 2018
Hoping things get better. Hoping things can change. Don’t tell me that there isn’t a shooting problem in this country. The perpetuating gun violence we face is ridiculous. https://t.co/dHeXH5Fo9B— Alex Wind (@al3xw1nd) May 18, 2018
Teenagers across the country responded to movement started by the Parkland high schoolers in February. Across the country students organized school walkouts in March and another in April, or marched for gun control in their cities and towns.
Those activists also spoke out — and took action — in the wake of the Santa Fe shooting. High school students in Washington, DC. protested at the Capitol on Friday.
Washington D.C.-area high school students entered the U.S. Capitol building this afternoon to demand that House Speaker Paul Ryan pass gun reform legislation. Several were arrested. Livestreaming now: https://t.co/3nfmiI67JL— The Trace (@teamtrace) May 18, 2018
The group that organized the National School Walkout on April 20 called for a moment of silence at 2pm Friday in solidarity with the victims. A March for Our Lives chapter in Salt Lake City rallied at the Utah State Capitol.
Today we laid on the ground outside the Utah State Capitol for 22 minutes - one minute for every school shooting in 2018. We are determined to fight for change even through the heartbreak. #MarchForOurLives pic.twitter.com/CwQaq7LMQD— March For Our Lives SLC (@March4LivesSLC) May 18, 2018
A Houston chapter said it would travel to Santa Fe, which is southeast of the city, to offer support.
We will be in Santa Fe through the weekend to meet with students and families affected by this tragedy. We will listen, love, and give hugs. Whatever you need we can help. ❤️— March For Our Lives Houston (@mfolhouston) May 18, 2018
Parkland galvanized a new push for gun control; Santa Fe will be grimmest of tests for the movement. Texas witnessed one of the worst mass shootings in US history: 26 people were killed at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas in November. It led to a modest background checks bill in Congress -- Fix NICS -- which finally passed after Parkland as part of the omnibus spending bill.
There seemed to a be a slight shift in tone among lawmakers after this latest mass shooting. Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) said Friday that “we need to do more than just to pray for the victims and their families.” He said he would convene roundtable discussions with stakeholders, and mentioned the need to speed up background checks and keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. (That was countered by statement from Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick who seemed to suggest school entryways were the problem.)
How the Santa Fe community and the rest of the state react to the shooting will likely determine if, and how, lawmakers respond, both in Texas and on the federal level. Santa Fe High School held a walkout on April 20, on the 19th anniversary of Columbine to call for gun control. In a pictures on social media, students hold up a sign that reads: “Santa Fe High School says #NeverAgain.”