Unlike Columbine, his new book does not challenge the accepted narrative of the shooting or its aftermath. He believes the Parkland students achieved real change and are on their way to even greater victories. But he does not gloss over what was messy and painful about the movement’s growth. He shows the simmering tension within the Parkland student body over how the media reaction to the shooting made just a handful of them internationally famous...It’s easy to understand how dazzled Cullen is by the toughness and political acumen of the teens who built a movement to challenge the NRA. Many American adults share his gratitude at the students’ fearlessness in confronting one of America’s most persistent problems.
Scenes such as this make for tough reading. In its early pages, I had to put the book aside every so often. But Cullen, whose previous book was an account of the Columbine massacre, is determined to tell a positive story and the bulk of Parkland concerns the various protest movements spawned by the shooting. So why did the Parkland tragedy lead to a mass protest movement while other school shootings didn’t?
On February 14 2018, a 19-year-old gunman walked into his former high school in Parkland, Florida, and opened fire, killing 17 people — among them 14 students — and injuring more than a dozen others. It was yet another mass school shooting in a nation that has witnessed far too many. Yet this one was different, argues Dave Cullen. A journalist who spent a decade researching and writing Columbine, a definitive account of the pivotal 1999 school shooting at Columbine High School, Colorado, Cullen focuses his latest book Parkland less on the shooting, more on the remarkable activism that came out of it.