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Yesterday, while many of us were attempting to celebrate Valentine’s Day in one way or another, the people of Broward County, Florida, the parents and students of Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida were mourning the loss of 17 students. Nickolas Cruz,  19, stalked the halls with an assault rifle. The deaths qualified the shooting as a massacre, the deadliest school shooting since 2012 when 26 children were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

Cruz was captured, has been arrested and is facing 17 counts of premeditated murder.

Every time one of these tragedies happen, and it’s far too often in America, the left and the right have a discussion about gun control and what place it has in our society. The right argues that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. And that even if there were stricter gun laws, they wouldn’t prevent hatred and evil. They say people would find other ways to carry out their plans. They argue that tragedy is not the time to discuss political issues…when political issues and political inaction are causing human lives.

Black folk have a particularly interesting take on all of this. Read what some of us, famous and nonfamous alike, have to say about the tragedy of the shooting, gun control and more on the following pages.

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