We’ve been living like this for 24 years. It’s NOT incomprehensible.

Just a place to collect my thoughts after another “senseless and unheard of” tragedy involving gun violence. Whether that’s Buffalo, Laguna Wood, or Uvalde, take your choice, that’s just this past week. In my 24 years of life, nothing has changed. I see such horrific events and at some point I’m apathetic because it’s prevalent. It’s predictable. It’s normal.

And how despicable is it that 23 people losing their lives in a public school, on awards day, two days before summer vacation, feels normal? A 280-character tweet couldn’t be enough to express the heavy sadness my heart feels. So I turn here to post my thoughts because I have some and I don’t want to leave them sitting for the next time this occurs, because surely there will be a next time.


I’ve realized the older generations, our politicians with an average age sitting around 58, and news anchors who run shows from the comfort of their desks like Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, they have no clue about the anxiety, the pain, and the horror that comes along with being a student of any age in the United States of America. They neglect any form of perspective of those affected when preaching their arguments about “second amendment guarantees for law-abiding citizens” as the reason gun reform cannot be passed. And that’s because they all graduated before the Columbine school shooting in the year 1998.

I was a year and three months old when Columbine happened. 20+ years of school later, how many lockdown drills did I sit through? What about that stark conversation we had to have with our very pregnant 3rd grade teacher about what student would risk their life to shut the door in an active shooter situation if she couldn’t get up to shut the door? Every year passing, wondering if it’s just a drill or if it’s actually real this time. The bomb threats that shut down my high school for hours on end with students inside; the time a kid actually brought a gun to Naperville Central while both my brothers were in attendance; the time a armed person was loose on my college campus and none of the alert systems worked in the new dorms; seeing Sandy Hook happen and realizing that if the world isn’t going to change for dead kindergartners, it’s not going to change for anyone.

You don’t know the anxiety that underlies every school child in this country. There is nothing you can do to save students. You can’t go to the grocery store, you can’t go to concerts, you can’t go to religious places of worship, and you cannot go to school without fearing that you might not make it home because someone with an AR-15 shot a round through your skull.


I’ve seen these Republican figures say that to turn today’s tragedy political for personal gain is despicable (see: Ted Cruz). If there is personal gain in trying to stop bullets from piercing the bodies of seven year olds during silent reading, congratulations. I think I would personally gain from such political change myself as a student. But, Senator Cruz, it’s political because you refuse to take action. And dear reader, I can’t help but wish this man be hit with a hard reality check. Because was he not senator of Texas when a shooter killed 23 people in a Walmart in El Paso in 2019? Did Governor Abbott not just pass legislature taking away any ounce of protection from gun violence in Texas? What Ted Cruz fails to realize is that his inaction, his failure to protect the citizens of the state he represents, his failure to stop AR-15s from entering schools and creating a large demand for pint size coffins, is political: Ted Cruz has received $176,000 in donations from the National Rifle Association.

Thoughts and prayers mean nothing when you actively work against the change that would prevent something like this from happening again. MILLIONS of Americans are BEGGING for change, change that could have prevented what happened today [last week, last year, last decade] but DID NOT because these politicians and news anchors reap sponsorships, donations, viewers, and votes from those opposed to reformation, willfully ignorant to the haunting pain of every parent who no longer has a child because of today’s events.


The Second Amendment was written at a time where guns had to be loaded with each single bullet and you couldn’t control the aim. There is nothing about automatic machine guns in the Constitution, in case any of the originalists on the Supreme Court were wondering. Also, “law abiding citizens” my ass. How many guns were bought by ‘law abiding citizens’ who then pawned them off to those forbidden from getting a gun themselves? Are most of the guns illegally possessed in the city of Chicago not from outside the state of Illinois, with 20% from the state of Indiana with incomparably more relaxed gun laws, merely 24 miles away? We MUST look at the whole picture here, because it is truly bleak.

[I also have a whole personal opinion about the amendment itself and the preamble’s importance on the meaning of the right to bare arms, but it’s pretty well articulated in the dissenting opinions of the Supreme Court case DC v. Heller (2008).]

I, a law-abiding citizen of the United States, do not want, nor do I need, the right to own an assault rifle. I do need, however, the right to not get fucking shot because the people we elect as mayors, senators, governors, representatives, president, and judges value the rights of gun owners over my right to merely exist.

I can promise you this: Gun Reform WILL happen. I only hope it’s because our government officials have a change of heart to protect us, rather than the current reality where if enough voters are closely related to these tragedies, they’ll abandon their politics in memory of who they grieve.

Please, I’m begging, do what’s right, even at the cost of what will make you rich.


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