Enjoy GRAND Magazine

for grandparents & those who love them


Posted on May 23, 2018 by Christine Crosby in Guns, Lonny Anger, nra, Parkland High School

Open Letter To The Next School Shooter – From A Parkland Dad

Open Letter To The Next School Shooter – From, A Parkland Dad


Dear Next School Shooter,

I wrote an article a few days after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, that was an open letter to the next community victimized by gun violence.

I tried to share what they are about to experience from someone like you, but my suspicion is that those who read it dismissed it as “this article is not speaking to me, because it won’t happen in my community”.

I know that because that is how I would have read it had it not happened in my community of Parkland.

So I’m going to cut to the chase and acknowledge that we are just waiting for you to appear.

The question is not if, but when and where?

Since nothing has changed – Schools are not safer, metal detectors are not installed, universal background checks are still not available, purchasing a gun is still easier than buying a car, assault rifles are still readily available, no one at the FBI or BSO has been held accountable, no one at Broward School Board has been held accountable, and politicians still take money from the NRA – this is going to be very easy for you, wherever you are.

And since nothing has changed, I thought I would lead by example and change my strategy by writing a letter to you, since writing about topics related to the shootings hasn’t had any impact.

I’m sure by now you are way ahead of me and have already provided warning signs.

 You know and I know there are always warning signs.

  • You probably have threatened a student, teacher, or parent
  • You have already made threats about gun violence or killing people
  • You have written and posted things on social media that are racist and homophobic, that demonstrate your fascination with guns, and/or other indications of untreated mental illness
  • You have watched and been enamored with past school shootings
  • People already think that if there is going to be a school shooter, it would be you
  • You have easy access to guns
  • You may already have them, but you live with someone that knows you have issues but still lets you keep your guns or doesn’t get rid of theirs

Now I am not suggesting that you have done all of these; but I would be shocked if you told me none of these apply to you.

In the Parkland shooting, all of these applied. 

Now this is the part of the letter where I am going to try (and likely fail) to convince you not to execute your plan.

Families of murdered children will struggle to get out of bed every morning.

I want you recognize the pain and suffering you will cause the families of the people that you killed, the hardship of the people that you injured, and the path of destruction in the community that you will leave in your wake.

I know you are trying to achieve notoriety, like you perceive the ones before you did.

But you won’t, just like the ones before you didn’t.

Your plan may be to kill yourself, but since the act is cowardly already, I sincerely doubt you will go through with it.

So instead you will be in jail for the rest of your life.

And that’s actually where you will receive the notoriety you desperately crave.

You will be repeatedly raped.

And on good days, you may just get beatings.

And no one will give you another thought again.

However, the people of the community will be left to deal with the consequences of your actions.

Families of murdered children will struggle to get out of bed every morning.

Students will be afraid to go to school.

Gun control advocates will decry “It’s the guns, stupid”.

The NRA will decry, “It’s not the guns, stupid”.

There will be the usual thought and prayers message from politicians and our President.

The entire world will once again shake their heads in disbelief at the issue that we can’t seem to tame.

And assuming that you carry this out before the next election…..

Nothing will have changed which would have prevented you from carrying this out.

Sadly, I am very well aware you are not going to heed my plea to not do this – I know you still are going to go ahead and finish what you have been planning, that no one has done anything about.

Not your family members.

Not your social media connections.

Not your school.

Not your school board.

Not the FBI.

Not your local Sheriff’s office.

No one.

But I am here to ask you for one thing.

It’s a simple request, and one I feel terrible asking.

And that is to change your target.

Instead of choosing the school where you attended or where your ex attends, I want you to go to a different school.

I want you to go to the schools that either President Trump, Vice President Pence, Ted Cruz, or Marco Rubio’s children (or grandchildren) attend.

And I want you to go shoot up their school.

Since this is an open letter, there may be some criticism with that suggestion.

However, hear me out.

I have seen the efforts put forth to try to facilitate change.

The TV pundits.

The committees.

The charitable organizations.

The demonstrations.

Nothing has changed.

I have watched another High School (Santa Fe) get victimized, and this is just three months after the events at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School. I have listened to everyone blame everything but the guns.

While guns are not the sole issue, I want people to at least acknowledge that they are a factor in addition to school safety and mental health.

However, the NRA’s money is drowning out common sense.

Auto dealers want to get you in the car, so you take a test drive.


Because they know there is a greater likelihood of you buying a car once you experience driving it.

I want the people who keep sending thoughts and prayers and continue to do nothing about it to experience what the 17 families and the entire community is going through.

I know – harsh, cold, and inappropriate, right?

But the way I see it, it is akin to a terrorist who hijacks a plane and is looking to crash it into a building.

Since the people in that plane are likely to die anyway, the military would be ordered to shoot down that plane to avoid any more casualties.

So since you are going to carry this out, someone is going to be impacted – might as well be those same people who haven’t done jack to prevent you from doing this in the first place.

I need for President Trump to tell Ivanka on her first Mother’s Day afterwards that “My thoughts and prayers are with you and Jared, but I already told my base that I’m not letting them come for their guns”.

I want to be a fly on the wall when Vice President Pence says to his wife, “Mother, my thoughts and prayers are with grandson, but we need to protect the second amendment.”

(Mother then says, “It would be best for you to dine with another woman tonight”.)

I want to hear Ted Cruz say, “Heidi, honey, the love of my life – I’m sorry our daughter was shot, but a call for gun control is not the right answer”.

However, I never thought my daughter would be texting me “I’m scared, Daddy” while hiding in a closet from a gunman either.

And finally, I want to watch Marco Rubio tell Jeanette “I know we are burying our daughter today, but stricter gun control would not have stopped the shooter – and besides, People buy into my agenda”.

It is at this point I think it’s important that if you have not read my previous articles, you should know that I am a registered Republican.

Now do I feel bad about writing that suggestion to you?

I do – I really do.

I never thought I would suggest such a thing.

However, I never thought my daughter would be texting me “I’m scared, Daddy” while hiding in a closet from a gunman either.

But I can think of no other way to get the message across, because no one seems to be listening.

Only justifying their stance.

I recognize it may be a sick way of getting attention – but the Parkland shootings have hardened me.

For instance, I watched part of the Royal Wedding this weekend with my wife.

She was watching enjoying the scenery, acknowledging the historic significance, and thinking about how romantic it was for the bride to be in a carriage being whisked around England.

I, on the other hand, was watching it differently.

I was thinking about how lucky I am that I will be able to see my daughter get married, while others that I know will not.

I was also praying that neither Prince William or Meghan get shot while in that open carriage, and if they are shot, I was hoping that the guards sitting behind them are quick enough with their guns to be able to protect them.

This is why I write to you – because this is how I view the world these days.

I hope I have convinced you to consider my request.

Do I think that will make them look at this widespread epidemic differently?

I do.

I believe it may be the only way.

I promise I won’t tell them I told you so.

That would be such a weak response.

Instead, I will just be sending them my thoughts and prayers.



PARKLANDLonny Anger is the father of a Parkland High School student (who did not get killed on 2-14-18), a son who attends a middle school near Parkland H.S. and a son who attends elementary school in Parkland.  He is an award-winning executive and community leader. Find Lonny on LinkedIn here and enjoy his many other articles.

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Only $ 6.95

A Special eBook for New and Expecting GRANDparents

My Grand Baby ebook cover