PARKLAND - US Rep. Jared Moskowitz led five members of Congress, two fathers of slain children and others on a second tour of's 1200 building, which has remained untouched since the deadly mass shooting on February 14th, 2018.
Following the tour, thewhich includes Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, Rep. Daniel S. Goldman, Rep. Greg Landsman, and Rep. Wiley Nickel, and family members of the 17 slain MSD victims took part in a roundtable discussion on school safety at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott in Coral Springs.
The 1200 building has been frozen in time since the shooting in which 17 people were killed and 17 others were injured. Those on the tour saw the blood-stained walls with bullet holes, shattered glass, opened computers and notebooks, and unopened boxes of Valentine's Day candy.
The gunman is serving consecutive life sentences for the murders.
Families of the victims hope shedding light in the horror will prompt further legislative reforms to curb gun violence and the increasing number of mass shootings.
"We have to put action behind "we feel bad," "thoughts and prayers." It's nice that people feel bad but if you don't put that into a purpose and try to make things better then you really don't feel bad," said Debbie Hixon, the wife of Chris Hixon who died saving students.
"What I'm hoping will come of that is we'll come to an agreement on some common sense school safety legislation that we can implement and pass up in Washington DC to make our schools safer," said Max Schachter, whose son Alex was killed in the shooting.
Moskowitz said he believes he can get a national red flag law passed in 2024.
"I would add gun violence is now the leading cause of death for children in America. The reason is cars have gotten safer. It used to be car crashes, but cars have gotten safer because we have implemented more safety restrictions, airbags, etcetera. Why are we not doing that as guns as well," said Rep. Daniel Goldman, a Democrat from New York who took the tour. Goldman said he is also looking at the age firearms are legally bought. It varies from state to state.
Representative Moskowitz said he is hopeful that a national red flag law could be passed in 2024. Red flag laws allow law enforcement to remove an individual's firearms if it's believed they pose a threat to someone or themselves. Moskowitz said Florida's red flag law is supported by sheriffs statewide. And he believes it would be supported by Republicans in Washington.
The 1200 building is set to besometime next summer after classes finish.
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