Seventeen people were gunned down in a high school last Wednesday. That’s twice as many students and teachers killed in a single day as law-enforcement officers killed in all of last year in Florida.
The former student charged with stalking and killing 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., wasn’t a terrorist. At least, not by the usual definition. From what we know now, he wasn’t out to terrorize the population as a way of advancing a cause. He evidently was a disturbed misfit who’d been expelled from the school, who legally bought a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle, who set off the fire alarm so students would come out of classrooms.
This is a problem the world thought it had fixed. Scientists discovered in the 1980s that chlorofluorocarbons — used for refrigeration and in aerosol sprays — were creating a hole in the stratospheric ozone layer far above Antarctica, which could have devastating consequences for life on Earth. (Ozone absorbs much of the sun’s cancer-causing and DNA-altering ultraviolet rays, keeping them from reaching the planet’s surface.) So the world’s nations came together in Montreal and agreed in 1987 to ban specific chemicals that damage atmospheric ozone. In the years since, the ozone hole has been slowly healing.
California Assembly members Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, D-San Diego, and Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, have introduced legislation that would ban organized tackle football in the state until high school.