Florida Filipino residents react to Parkland school shooting, urge lawmakers to act
JACKSONVILLE, FL — As a community continues to heal after the recent Parkland, Florida high school shooting that left 17 dead, the massacre also triggered horrific memories for one Fil-Am former Florida resident who also experienced a school shooting four years ago.
“It was scary thought to even think that that would have even happened, coz I never thought that would ever happen to me,” said former FSU student Mike Sherman.
In November 2014, then Florida State University student Mike Sherman was at the school’s Tallahassee campus library, when a gunman shot at students inside the building.
He still vividly recalls the horrifying moments of hearing what he thinks was gunfire, followed by fellow students shouting, crying, and running for safety.
“The shooter came up to the front of the library and started unloading his gun on everybody. A lot of us ran out of the back and hidden there — took shelter.”
“Sabi nya, dun daw sa may parang kabinet, dun sya nakatago. Di nga raw sya magkasya-kasya duon pero at least naka-cover daw sya duon,” said his mother, Lita.
While there were no fatalities, 3 students were injured. The shooter — a 31-year-old attorney and FSU alumni — was killed after refusing to put down his weapon, a semi-automatic rifle: the same weapon used at the Marjory Douglas Stone High School shooting.
For the Shermans, this latest shooting brings back the fears and emotions the family once felt four years ago.
“I feel scared again because when I see that shooting again, I see 17 killed — I was, it opened my mind again – this is like what happened to my son before.”
Now, the family joins a renewed national debate surrounding gun control, as many are left wondering how people are able to access these types of weapons in the first place.
“Nagtataka ako, where they getting the gun from? Like rifle like that, that’s like he wants to do really something very bad. That’s why he had that.”
“An 18 y/o student should not have access to an AR-15 rifle. It seems like it was too easy for him to obtain such a gun of that capacity.”
Mike says he can’t believe these shooting incidents are not only still happening, but seem to be getting worse. He urges lawmakers to work harder at how they can improve the situations of students so they don’t have to live in fear while going to school every day.
“It is in our constitution, people have the right to bear arms, but I feel like that there should just be more of a stringent process for people to obtain guns,” he said.