In elementary school, I remember the anticipation of going on summer break. Having two and a half months to do things with friends, play video games, get ready for sports, and of course, that summer reading project were all things that seemed like a reward. Now that I’m older, many of my friends have children, and their worlds are entirely different because some representatives lack the courage to do what’s necessary; we have had 27 school shootings so far this year.
Today’s children have to worry about shooter drills, hiding under tables, and seeing armed guards at the schools. When I think about it, my stomach turns like when I heard the news about Uvalde, Texas. From Sandy Hook to Oxford. And now, in Uvalde, Texas, 19 children had the freedom of summer vacations robbed from them. Some kids who witnessed seeing their classmates die are still alive, and then there are those parents who have to go home to empty rooms and shattered memories.
Active shooter incidents have increased by 96.8% in just four years. The Buffalo shooting happened last week; we’ve had 16 shootings since, two of them in Texas. Vastly underpaid teachers are also expected to be some 1980s action star to save their students from shootings. Last year, Texas made it easier for 18-year-olds to purchase a gun. People are cheering on the potential undoing of Roe v. Wade, claiming they are fighting for the sanctity of life, but will do little to improve the world these children would enter. Never mind the expiration of the child tax credit, the baby formula shortages, or the many children who are orphans because they lost their parents to the COVID-19 pandemic – there is nothing we can do.
That’s not normal. Our addiction to the second amendment is not normal. We should not grow numb to things like this and call out the hypocrisy when we see it. An essential part of a community is looking after each other and doing what’s necessary to protect one another. Common sense gun legislation should be a no-brainer – not taking away the right to own a gun, but making it harder for those who could do things like this to get them.
Soon it will be ten years since the shooting at Sandy Hook, and Congress has passed no gun legislation. When Columbine happened right before I entered high school, they blamed video games, rock music, and trenchcoats. Those survivors have grown up to have children going through the exact same thing they did. With each of these incidents, I almost have survivor’s guilt regarding what today’s children go through. The only bible verse we should be reading today is James 2:17: Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. Let’s take away the empty promise from the words and say never again.