Two big things happened in the world last week.
First, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle became the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, meaning that the first divorced half-black American has become a part of the traditionalist royal family and has broken so many years of boundaries and stereotypes.
Second, a student in Santa Fe, Texas entered his high school and killed 10 of his classmates and teachers, injuring 13 others. This happening just three months after a shooting on Valentine's Day in Parkland, Florida in which 17 students and teachers were killed and 14 others were injured.
So please don't lecture me on why we shouldn't be focusing on the royal wedding and that our country has wrong priorities.
Yes, taxpayers pay for the royal family, but taxpayers also pay the president's and Congress' salaries, and they are the ones who refuse to do anything about gun reform. They're the ones that are letting innocent kids get gunned down in schools because they refuse to take away people's gun or even add in an extra layer of background checks.
I'm so tired of hearing that things are backward in my country because we still have a "monarchy" and people can't understand why the royal family is still such a huge part of our lives. I for one cannot understand why there is a Wikipedia page with a list of mass school shootings with the most recent one being Santa Fe.
A few weeks ago I read an article about how the United Kingdom's healthcare system was broken because Alfie Evans was allowed to die in Alder Hey's Children Hospital five days after being taken off life support. The parent's of the boy felt that the hospital had misdiagnosed the child and that he needed to get further treatment. The hospital felt that he had irreversible brain damage and that further treatment would be futile.
A healthcare system that doesn't make people pay thousands of dollars for treatment is not broken. This is a rare case and does not reflect the way that the system works.
I'm tired of people lecturing me on how they don't understand why my country doesn't have guns. The last time there was a massacre was in London in June of 2017. Eight people died and 48 were injured. There were three massacres in 2017. Before that, the last one happened in 2010. Seven years between mass massacres sounds like a good place to be. In the United States, there were only three months between mass school shootings.
Three months compared to seven years.
Something needs to change. One interview with a student said that she wasn't surprised that this happened at her school because she felt that sooner or later this would happen to her. These are so common that students prepare themselves for the worst because, at this point, they know that at some point they will be involved in one of these shootings as they seem almost inevitable.
Parents shouldn't be scared to send their children to school, but schools also shouldn't feel like prisons. Students should be able to feel safe when they're getting their education and we shouldn't have to train teachers to carry firearms or have metal detectors in the entrances to every school in America.
Gun reform needs to become something that the government takes much more seriously but right now, most lawmakers assume that saying "thoughts and prayers" will fix everything. It won't. "Thoughts and prayers" won't bring back the students that have died this year just trying to get their education. Killed because they turned down their killer or embarrassed him. These are teenagers we're talking about – they shouldn't be killed for little mistakes they wouldn't even remember in five years.
And now, for students of Parkland and Santa Fe and so many other schools, there aren't even another five years for them. They lie in the ground, their parents wondering if there was anything we could do to save them.
So yes, people flocked to the TV to watch the royal wedding and we celebrated. We celebrated because we are watching history in the making. We celebrate while the city of Santa Fe mourns the loss and cries out for reform.
Next time someone tries to lecture me on my country having the wrong priorities, I'll point them to the list of mass shootings in the past five years compared to any other country in the world.
American lawmakers have the wrong priorities if they continue to refuse to do anything about gun reform.