On February 14, 2018, seventeen people abruptly lost their lives in a high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, and countless more were traumatized forever. While there are many reasons for this, a major reason relates to the ease of access to guns, which deserves a discussion and appropriate action. However, how were the screaming warning signs posted online missed?
If you’ve been on Twitter at all in the past few weeks, you have noticed the jokes and memes about the FBI agents watching us through our webcams. Or you may have gotten shocked about an ad popping up about a product you were just talking about. The fact is that every single move you make is recorded and run through an algorithm, whether that’s for marketing purposes or further study concerning future advancements. Anything posted becomes public material. Everyone knows companies like Google do this and most of us were under the impression that the government was too, for security purposes. However, this shooting proves that all of this tracking and our right to privacy getting stripped in every area of life has all been for nothing.
All of that data and all of this technology could not even prevent one shooting from occurring, despite the FBI being directly contacted about the warning signs. That is infuriating.
It is angering because with the reported YouTube comment, anyone that is used to using social media, could have easily found the relating social media accounts that the shooter had. His full name was right there. Regular employers can find that information out now! There are reports that he posted clear pictures with the weapons with disturbing comments on his social media. In addition, it’s 2018 and it is impossible to fathom that they could not trace that account or comment to even a general area. He was a troubled kid who acted out since middle school, so it doesn’t make sense to think that he might have had encryption or a VPN (virtual private network) set up that someone skilled couldn’t pass.
If they had truly cared and investigated the matter, they could have pinpointed a general location and then contacted all the schools in the area to inquire about the name. They would have found out that he was expelled and that police officers had visited his residence multiple times. They could have confiscated the weapons at the very least.
We need to do better with the technology and resources that we have. This should have been impossible to have slipped by like this. It’s time to just stop tracking and using the information about the latest product we want to purchase. It’s time to use those same tools to prevent these horrible attacks.
May the victims rest in peace and sincere condolence to those who lost someone. To those who survived, never stop fighting.