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They are angry. They are channeling their pain and stepping into the harsh spotlight of a heated and ongoing national debate. They are shielding their peers who feel too devastated to do the same.

State lawmakers are facing renewed pressure to pass gun control legislation following last week’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland — and the Legislature is only scheduled to be in session for another two and a half weeks after it returns from the Presidents' Day recess.

State Sen. Gary Farmer, who represents nearby Fort Lauderdale, is pushing the Legislature’s Republican leadership to hear bills he and his Democratic colleagues have introduced in past years.

Since the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, alumni from around the country are coming back home.

They say in this painful moment for their community they have to be present.

Chelsea Tyrell graduated from Stoneman Douglas High in 2016. When she heard about the shooting at her alma mater she drove from the University of North Florida with her golden retriever.

"I thought I'd bring along my 6-year-old golden retriever who's certified as a therapy dog to just come out here if anyone needs any comfort," she said.

When James and Kimberly Snead took in Nikolas Cruz late last year, he was a socially awkward teenager lost in the world, depressed by the death of his beloved mother.

But to the Sneads, Cruz appeared to be progressing.

The young man who had been friendly with their son regularly attended adult-education classes, bicycled to his job as a cashier and watched TV shows with the family. Cruz hoped to become an infantry soldier. With the Sneads’ help, the emotionally troubled 19-year-old planned to resume mental-health therapy begun years earlier.

The parents of a suspect in the random shooting deaths of four people have showed up late for a civil contempt hearing in Florida and have been placed on house arrest after refusing to cooperate with prosecutors.

Circuit Judge Mark Wolfe ordered the confinement of Howell Donaldson Jr. and Rosita Donaldson on Friday. Their 24-year-old son, Howell Donaldson III, is charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the October and November shootings of four people in Tampa's Seminole Heights neighborhood.

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