By Leah Ullman
Valentines Day. A day of love and appreciation. Loved ones share comfort through words and gifts. Valentine’s Day is time for peace.
On February 14, 2018, 17 students were shot and murdered at their own high school.
On February 14, 2019, America didn’t care.
We marched. We spoke out. We pledged to do all we could to make sure such an inhumane act would never happen again. And yet in 365 days, 387 people were killed in the 323 mass shootings of 2018.
We walked out of our schools for those students in solidarity. Students who didn’t choose to give up their lives. Who didn’t choose to never have a life beyond their freshman year. Students who didn’t choose to never grow up, to never grow old, to never live the lives they wanted. That day, countless students across America lost their safety. They lost their security and the ability to feel safe going to school. They lost everything.
Since then, minimal effort has been taken to prevent tragedies such as these. Only 11 out of the 50 states have passed laws restricting gun access from dangerous people. I previously lived in Miami, Florida, only a couple of hours from the location of the Parkland shooting. The discussion was relevant for a couple of months, only to be buried and forgotten with every other pressing issue in our country. Now, a year later, the country is occupied in squabble over an idiotic excuse for racism that president Trump calls the border wall.
So the question remains; How can we keep this conversation running? Why does America always forget until the next tragedy? No matter how much we protest or what steps we take, our efforts are ultimately halted; whether that be by congress or fellow Americans. However, we can try to keep the conversation ongoing by doing small things with big impacts. Calling your local congressperson and getting your message out is one of the most impactful things you can do. The representative for our district is Salud Carbajal, who you can find out how to contact at: https://www.contactingcongress.org/. The list of things you can do is endless -what we’re lacking is the initiative to do them. Our generation needs to persist. We need to keep speaking, keep rising, and never die out. At times it might feel as if the entire country is against us, lacking compassion, empathy, or sense of caring for the lives of people other than themselves, but the key is to stick together and rally for what is right. Keep our message. Continue this mission. Persist and remember the countless lives lost.