People all over the country were hoping that last week's tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida would have a silver lining and lead to stricter gun laws. Survivors of the shooting publicly begged for gun control and even organized a national march for awareness in the days following the tragedy.
Unfortunately, on Tuesday afternoon, legislators in Florida voted down a motion to take up a bill that would ban assault rifles like the one used by Nikolas Cruz to murder 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
As students from Douglas sat in attendance, the Florida House voted down the motion 36-71. In other words, it wasn't even close. This vote effectively ends any chance of the measure seeing any movement until the end of the legislative session on March 9.
16-year-old Douglas junior Alfonso Calderon was one of hundreds of students who traveled to the state capitol to urge lawmakers to consider stricter gun laws. Calderon told reporters, "America is a gun society. That is what made (suspect) Nikolas Cruz seem normal. It is not normal for someone to have a stockpile of weapons in their room when they are mentally ill."
Republican leaders in the House and Senate have reportedly said that they will consider other proposals, which include raising age restrictions for gun purchases from 18 to 21. Lawmakers told students on Tuesday that these reforms might be the only realistic changes they could expect this session.
With last week's shooting fresh in everyone's minds, this news came as another disheartening blow to people around the country who hoped the tragedy could serve as a vehicle for change.