My eleven-year-old brother, Sebastian, wakes up as soon as the sun’s light turns the sky pastel. When he bounces his way to the kitchen table, there is already a bowl of yogurt and a plate of freshly cut fruit arranged in a smiley face, mirroring his own energetic grin. The books that he had inevitably strewn around the house the night before have “magically” relocated to his backpack along with his lunch.
Law enforcement recovered a stockpile of 15 firearms and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition from Coast Guard Lieutenant Christopher Hanson’s home on Feb. 15. He was allegedly planning a terrorist attack. We shouldn’t worry, though. According to Hanson’s attorney, his collection is “modest at best” in a country with an estimated 363 million guns. His attorney's statements distract from the real issue — Handson’s firearm and ammunition stockpile was not the reason law enforcement found him. There is no way for law enforcement to know if someone’s firearm collection is growing from “modest” to whatever amount is big enough to be concerning.
Early in the afternoon of Feb. 14, 2018, Jennifer Moll was running errands at the Walmart located behind Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where her son, Jake, was a senior. She picked up a call from him. “There’s an alarm going off, but I know it can’t be a fire drill because there is only five minutes left in school. They wouldn’t do that,” he whispered. He was confused, surrounded by chaos, and he was right; the information didn’t add up. A fire drill didn’t make sense so close to the end of the day. Students wouldn’t make it to their buses on time. Listening to her son, Moll abandoned her cart in the aisle and ran to her car. “Jake don’t hang up. If you can’t talk, don’t talk, but don’t hang up,” she implored him. They didn’t know what was happening, but the connection meant neither of them would be alone.