No More Moments of Silence

TRIGGER WARNING: Mentions of gun violence.

I don’t even know how to start this. You’d think that I would have some template on how to go about giving my condolences in these kinds of situations with how often it happens, but it never gets easier. 

On Tuesday, May 24, a gunman opened fire inside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, resulting in the death of 18 students and 3 teachers (numbers that may still be growing as reports continue). 

21 people. 21 people who were getting ready for summer break. 21 people who were about to go home to a loved one after school. 21 people who didn’t deserve the fate that was placed upon them by a cowardly 18-year-old whose name should never be uttered out of anyone’s two lips ever again. 

According to an NPR article published on May 25, 2022, today is the 145th day of this year, and we have already had 212 mass shootings. 

Read that again. 

One of the first major mass shootings in America was at Columbine High School in 1999. An event that hits particularly close to home as my brother and sister were attending their high school just a little over 20 miles away from where the massacre happened. Albeit 23 years ago, the pain and heartache felt throughout America, especially in Colorado, has never been lifted. 

My dad called me tonight sobbing after reminiscing over the emotions that he felt when Columbine happened. 

He told me, “Always be vigilant. It’s the world we live in, and it’s awful, but always be vigilant.” He could only repeat it a few times before he broke down in fear that a similar situation could someday happen to me. 

It’s absolutely ridiculous that one of the main reasons my family is excited for me to graduate next year is so that I am not constantly in a vulnerable space like school. It’s ridiculous. 

Thoughts and prayers aren’t enough anymore. 

Why is the world allowed to just move on after a few weeks of sorrowful headlines while these elementary school students, teachers, and families now have to continue their lives after experiencing one of the most horrific traumas that one can endure?

Why do these politicians get to consistently prioritize their power over the lives of so many? Oh, I might have an idea! Because “there’s big money in guns” as Bernice King said. 

Since it’s obvious that our lawmakers will never truly care about the lives of those who voted them in, the only thing to do is for the public to enact change. 

I heavily encourage everyone to text “CHECKS” to 644-33 in order to encourage your senators to enforce background checks, along with calling your elected officials to voice their opinion. Linked below is a form that can help direct you to the numbers of your correct congressman and women. 

No more moments of silence.