The school shooting that took place in Parkland, Fla., that took the lives of 17 students is beyond tragic. I cannot begin to comprehend why 19-year-old Nicholas Cruz, the admitted shooter, would be driven to such an act of pure evil. What could have possibly pushed him over the edge?

This question has played through my mind many times since the Columbine High School shooting in 1999. Since then, there have been 25 school shootings in America.

We may never know what goes on in the mind of a deranged shooter, but one thing is certain: Things have changed since I attended high school in the 1970s. In the '50s, '60s, '70s and '80s, we didn't have needless shootings on our school campuses.

— Barry Wallace, Bakersfield