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If not now, when?

If not now, when? Is the saying that helps us remember that we always need to take action against gun violence to prevent school shootings.

Where do we go from here?

For anyone who knows me even slightly personally, I'm sure you never expected to hear anything l like this from me. You can take a look at me and assume where I fall on political and social issues, but you would never expect me to speak out on anything of that matter. I've always believed that every person is good at heart deep down. I sometimes think, as a nation; we lose sight that most people that you come across in your life are good at heart, and just because they may have different views from you when it comes to social matters doesn't make them a horrible person to their core, everyone will see the world differently than you do. Not to ramble, but I just wanted to tell a recent story that made me realize this. When driving home one day, my mom called me and asked me to bring home some cement for my dad's greenhouse in the backyard. So I make a trip to Home Depot and pick some up. While checking out, I realized that there was no electronic payment available, and all I was carrying was my phone with me because I was coming from work. As I was turning around to put the cement back, a man asked me, "hey do you need a spot" I responded to him and said, "no, sir, it's ok. I can come back for it" he went on to ask the cashier how much the cement was and She told him $7. As soon as he heard that, he pulled out his wallet, handed me a $10 bill, and told me, "it can happen to anyone, but we're all human, and we should look out for each other."

Driving home that day reassured my faith in humanity, believing that All people are good at heart. I use that tangent to say that what is happening in our country is so disheartening, vicious, and downright unfathomable at times that we're in a cycle of mass murders, and then no short of 3 days later, it's still not the biggest news story. What are we doing here that a mass murder of 19 children in an elementary school will be forgotten the next day. What are we doing that the Murder of African Americans at a grocery store, the Murder of Asian Churchgoers in Southern California, and now the murder of school children in Texas will all be a non-thought to many over the next coming days? It shows that we are failing as a country, that this is happening way too much for the mass murder of school children to become an afterthought because of how often it happens here.

We see these headlines in articles and on the news way too much here, and it doesn't happen anywhere else. We are failing our youth to think that they have to go to school and have in the back of their minds that the horrible things they see on TV could be them. Parents of children who attend schools like Sandy Hook or Uvalde Elementary have to go home and talk to their kids about what happened at such young ages that they shouldn't even think about anything close to that. Kids shouldn't have to walk over the bodies of their classmates in school, where it's supposed to be safe, a place where they're supposed to be able to focus on learning. How can our children focus on education when every week it feels like another mass shooting happens. Nineteen families won't ever enjoy a summer vacation with their children again. Nineteen families won't get to see their kids in the next phase of life. Everything I have goes out to the families who won't be able to feel their kids anymore. I couldn't even imagine the amount of heartbreak they must be going through. As we talk about these tragedies, let us make sure we remember the victims and their families and we hold them close to home. I believe in humans that we will find a way to make a change wherever we go from here. I can't sit and watch this go by anymore; I can't take it. So what are we doing to allow this to happen? We need to do something, and I don't know precisely what that is from here forward, whether that's Universal Background Checks or changes in Gun Laws. I know that as a nation, we cannot afford to have 50 senators sit in Washington and control power anymore. We are losing the lives of innocent children, and we need to do something about it. We can't sit around and wait for the next mass shooting for us to go through the cycle of moments of silence for the families, another headline, and back to forgetting about it all over again. When my classmates and I graduate in a week, we are excited to graduate not just because of their accomplishments but because they don't know whether they're better off safe someplace else; you know, change is needed. I don't want to sit around and not try my best to make a change, and as little as if one person, just one, sees this and is inspired to do anything they can, then writing this was all worth it. I'm not here to press my agenda forward; I don't want to see another innocent person lose their life. Where we go from here is not forgetting but remembering that change is necessary and not waiting for the next incident to occur to remind us.

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