Chase Otero/ The Paisano

UTSA’s Student Government Association (SGA) published its memorandum and call to action regarding the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida after its most recent meeting. The memorandum details the SGA’s sympathies with all of those affected by the shooting.

In what has become the second-deadliest shooting at a U.S. public school, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz killed 17 students and teachers and injured an additional 14 students and staff. The SGA documented each individual who lost their life in the horrific incident and described the actions by heroic individuals who lost their lives.

“We would like to pay tribute to those on campus who sustained injuries and lost their lives so that others could live,” the memorandum said. “These acts of unselfish heroism among the many others are undoubtedly admirable.”

The tragedy heralded a storm of political backlash as many Americans called for an increase in firearm regulations; others called to arm more people in an attempt to prevent catastrophes such as this one from happening again. President Donald Trump tweeted out his condolences and prayers to families of those who had lost loved ones in the tragedy.

Trump later addressed the nation, calling for the banning of bump stocks and tighter regulation on the sale of firearms. He sent a slew of tweets to the public concerning what he would change about the current gun laws and what he believes would better serve the victims of the Stoneman Douglas shooting.

“I will be strongly pushing comprehensive background checks with an emphasis on Mental Health,” Trump tweeted on Feb. 22. “Congress is in a mood to finally do something on this issue–I hope!”

The president called to raise the age to be able to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21 years old, and he promoted the arming of teachers.

“Highly trained teachers would also serve as a deterrent to the cowards that do this. Far more assets at much less cost than guards. A ‘gun free’ school is a magnet for bad people,” Trump tweeted. “If a potential ‘sicko shooter’ knows that a school has a large number of very weapons talented teachers (and others) who will be instantly shooting, the sicko will NEVER attack that school.”

The SGA’s memorandum called for unity with the victims and their families, but they also called for greater action by the United States government.

“In addition to sending our thoughts and condolences, we also implore the United States government to address the rampant gun violence, such as this, in our country,” the memorandum read. “We ask that the proper steps be taken so that never again will children have to live in fear in a place where they should feel protected and where they should worry about nothing other than receiving a great education.”

Terralyn Wilburn, SGA Student Affairs Chair and author of the memorandum, wrote the document to make a difference in the political noise surrounding the tragedy.

“The memorandum extends our utmost support to the courageous survivors, who in the midst of their grief, made the decision to take a stand to ensure gun violence becomes a thing of the past,” Wilburn said. “We support their right to peacefully protest as well as their right to voice their opinions to the government. We ask the government disregard partisanship and come to a compromise with the purpose of protecting citizens.”

UTSA students also have started the #MarchForOurLivesSA as well as organized a planning session to be held March 2 for a March For Our Lives event scheduled for March 24. Students interested in being a part of the event may attend the planning session at the UTSA Downtown Campus’ Buena Vista Building room 1.328 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

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