Mon | Feb 17, 2020

Florida lawmakers struggle with how to respond to shooting

Published:Sunday | February 18, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Cathy Kuhns, right, hugs Ana Paula Lopez, left, as they stand on a street corner holding up anti gun signs in Parkland, Florida yesterday.


Stunned by a horrific shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 people dead last week, the state Legislature is grappling with what to do in the aftermath.

Lawmakers have just three weeks left in their annual 60-day session and normally are trying to wrap up work on a new state budget in the final days.

But the shooting last Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland has revived an ongoing legislative debate about how to respond to gun violence.


Prioritising Gun Control


Democrats want the Legislature to take up gun control bills that have languished again this year, but Republican legislative leaders are talking about boosting mental health programmes in Florida's public schools, as well as considering measures that would bolster safety on school campuses.

Senate and House leaders have said they are willing to help pay to tear down the three-storey building where the shootings happened and place a memorial on the site.

It could cost up to US$30 million to replace the school building with a new facility in a different location on the campus.