It’s Enough. Again.


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UVALDE, TX – MAY 24: Law enforcement work the scene after a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School where 19 people, including 18 children, were killed on May 24, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. The suspected gunman, identified as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was reportedly killed by law enforcement. (Photo by Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images)

Our time as students has been marked with major catastrophes which have seen our peers across the country die in their places of learning. Sandy Hook. Parkland. El Paso. Oxford. And now, Uvdale. 

No other countries face this issue to the same degree as the United States. This year, 248 mass shootings, 1.7 per day, have occurred in America alone, taking the lives of hundreds. It’s time we stopped acting as though changing nothing, maintaining and upholding the same pieces of the second amendment will protect us. With such a massive amount of human life lost to senseless gun violence, it’s clear that if we continue this way, our country will face even more harm. Each time we hear about a mass shooting happening in some part of the US, we pledge “enough is enough.” But when have they stopped, or even slowed the rate that they’re taking place for that matter? They continue to occur, continue to take innocent lives, and continue to divide our country more and more with little action taken to stop such from happening. When did we choose to uphold an amendment created in 1787, before gun violence ravaged our country, over human life? When will lawmakers consider the devastation and trauma that both children and adults are facing and decide that we can’t keep on the same path? 

The Second Amendment is the most controversial amendment in the Bill of Rights. It’s probably the amendment most people know as well, due to that nature. What was originally a clause to make sure the country could run and maintain a military has turned into one of the key dividing issues in American politics. Even though by large margins Americans approve of new measures for combating gun violence, such as universal background checks (83%) and banning semi-automatic rifles (72%). Yet, no substantial action has gotten done.  One of the reasons is one of the key major issues with our political system: dark money and lobbyists. The gun lobby is one of the most powerful groups in Washington, with the NRA spending up to 3 million dollars a year on their lobbying efforts in Congress. For a time, the NRA did support gun control efforts and were supportive of the efforts to change gun policy. However, since the Sandy Hook shooting, gun rights groups, including the NRA, have used their influence to shape policy. They spent an astounding $15.8 million on lobbying compared to $2.9 million by their gun control counterparts last year. 

Gun reform needs to be not only a priority, but one of the most significant issues in our political landscape right now. We do not want this cycle, an American phenomenon that doesn’t happen anywhere else. Every other functioning democracy has taken immediate action after a mass shooting. In 2019, after the Christchurch massacre, New Zealand swiftly removed semi-automatic rifles with support across its parliament, with only one member opposing. That is unheard of in American politics. These reforms are able to be accomplished: the world has shown us before. World leaders responded to similar shootings in droves, from neighbors Canada and Mexico to allies France and the United Kingdom. Even Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin urged the United States to, “show earnest care to the human rights of its own people, submit a report on the US human rights conditions for international scrutiny, and deeply reflect upon why it has become a country with the most serious gun violence in the world, where children and teens are 15 times more likely to die from gunfire than their peers in 31 other high-income countries combined?” 

It’s nothing short of heartbreaking. Hearing about children going to school under the guise of safety and protection and never returning back home makes you think about your own state, your own town, the people you know who could end up in the same situation. We remember about three years ago, writing about exactly what we’re writing about now; Making stricter gun laws and protecting students from mass shootings. If young people are speaking out, lawmakers need to listen. This is an issue that desperately needs to be addressed and has gone on for far too long. To target an elementary school, to see on the news a death toll made up primarily of children ten years of age or younger, is genuinely sickening. If congress cannot come to an agreement as to which firearms can be bought, who can own them, and which other strict restrictions can be enacted, our country won’t improve and nothing will change. Gun violence has become the main cause of death for children and teenagers. This is avoidable. This is something we could have prevented years ago. There is no just explanation for why this can happen in a developed country such as the United States.

To conclude, we would like to recognize the 19 children and two adults who lost their lives in the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvdale, Texas on May 24th. After their name, in parentheses will be their age. The victims are as follows: Uziyah Grace (8), Eliana Lugo-Garcia (9), Amerie Jo Garza (10), Makenna Lee Elrod (10), Xavier James Lopez (10), Jose Flores (10), Navaeh Bravo (10), Alithia Ramirez (10), Alexandria Rubio (10), Eliahana Cruz Torres (10), Tess Marie Mata (10), Rojelio Torres (10), Layla Salazar (10), Maite Rodriguez (10), Jailah Nicole Silgueo (10), Jayce Carmelo Luevanos (10), Jackie Jaylen Cazares (10), Annabelle Guadalupe Rodriguez (10), and Miranda Mathis (11). The teachers include Eva Mireles (44) and Irma Garcia (46), who both died selflessly protecting their students. May they rest in peace and know that many of us will continue fighting for change in their honor.