Parkland families outraged: What they say should be done in wake of latest school shooting

PARKLAND, Fla. – The Uvalde, Texas school massacre has forced family members of the victims of the Parkland shooting to relive the horror of what happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School four years ago.

Some Parkland families are speaking out, saying they are outraged at the fact that nothing has changed since their families were torn apart four years ago.

They expressed a renewed sense of heartbreak and desperation after yet another mass shooting.

“It’s a real punch in the gut and I really feel horrible for these families,” Max Schachter, whose son, Alex, was killed in the MSD shooting.

“I’m heartbroken, sad, traumatized again, pissed, irate, all of those things—and, at the same time, numb,” Debbi Hixon, whose husband, Chris, was killed, said.

Since the attack at MSD in 2018, family members have put legislation in front of lawmakers, run for local school boards and started non-profits all in an effort to prevent tragedies like it from happening again.

But, yet, to their immense frustration, history continues to repeat itself.

“It’s absolutely infuriating that it’s been four years since Parkland and mass shooting after mass shooting and Congress just does nothing,” Schachter said.

“We did our job,” Manny Oliver, father of Parkland victim Joaquin Oliver, said. “We voted on the midterms, we changed the administration, we trust a new group of people that will be leading the country to make the changes according to our demands and they didn’t.”

Answers from these family members on what they think should happen next range from universal background checks, to assault weapons bans, wider use of red flag laws and more.

They all agree, however, that America needs to do something.

“How does that not bring this country together to say ‘damn it, we’re not going to take this anymore?’” Hixon said. “We just keep pretending like it’s not happening and it happens daily.”

Schachter said all of the families are trying to keep their loved ones’ memories alive and trying to make changes so they didn’t die in vain and expressed frustration with what he feels are platitudes, rather than action, from lawmakers.

“For nothing to change and for it to be the same old ‘thoughts and prayers’ and then it happens again is really crushing,” he said.


About the Authors:

Ian Margol joined the Local 10 News team in July 2016 as a general assignment reporter. Born in Miami Beach and raised in Broward County, Ian is thrilled to be back home in South Florida.

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.