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Florida Shooting Puts Schools On High Alert, Ignites Gun Control Debate

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) – This is the 18th school shooting in the U.S. so far this year. And we're only 45 days in.

It's just heartbreaking, but there is little agreement in our national discourse about what should be done about it.

School officials say the most they can do is be ready.

Paying close attention to the Florida shooting is Jeff Godown, the police chief of the Oakland Unified School District.

Godown said, "As long as handguns are out there, it's never going to stop."

While stopping the violence seems impossible for now, Chief Godown says each school is preparing for the worst.

The district conducts active shooter lockdown drills twice annually. And the chief says they take special notice of students who act strangely or make unusual posts on social media.

For example, the gunman in Florida posed for several recent Instagram posts brandishing weapons.

Godown said, "We're looking for any possible threat situations or anything that's happened on the Internet because every time you get one of these shootings, there's always a connection somewhere."

Bay Area elected officials are weighing in on social media.

Senator Kamala Harris tweeted: "Another moment of silence won't suffice. Congress must act to address gun violence."

Congressman Eric Swalwell said on Twitter: "We. Don't. Have. To. Live. Like. This."

Many Americans are commenting about how numb we have all become to the 18th mass shooting since the beginning of the year. But there have been some extraordinary emotional moments.

"I don't know how we're alive," said a teen at the Florida high school.

And the emotion is not just among the teenagers who endured the madness.

CNN's counterterrorism analyst who spent more than 30 years with the CIA and FBI was live on national TV when he broke down.

CNN Analyst Phil Mudd said, "I have ten nieces and nephews. We're talking about bump stocks. We're talking about legislation. A child of God is dead. Cannot we acknowledge in this country that we cannot accept this? I can't do it, Wolf … I'm sorry. I can't do it."

Mudd was roundly applauded on social media. For having the reaction perhaps we all should have.

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