This past weekend, the royal family celebrated yet another wedding. I know, interesting way to start an article about school shootings, right? But here’s the thing. I heard more about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle this past week then I did about the Santa Fe shooting. After this weekend, I couldn’t tell you any of the names of the victims from the shooting, but for some reason, I knew what the neckline of Meghan Markle’s dress was – boat neck, in case anyone was wondering.
I have nothing against the royal family, but this just proves that we as a nation are getting desensitized to gun violence. What happened to the protesters from a few months ago, who were storming Washington in the March for Our Lives? What happened to the national outcry, and when will Texas tighten their gun laws, just like Florida did? What changed in those few months?
True, the response to the Parkland shooting was more victim-lead. Activists like Emma Gonázles and David Hogg helped lead the movement for gun control through speeches and media presence, and there has yet to be such a public reaction from any of the survivors of the Santa Fe shooting. However, it is never the victims’ job to beg to the public to listen. It should be our job – the people who aren’t suffering personally to continue protesting and advocating for change. We shouldn’t be ignoring this tragedy and taking it more lightly than others. It doesn’t matter that there were fewer fatalities in this time. Every person who died still left behind grieving parents and left behind an entire life to live. No life should be expendable.
One of the victims was Sabika Sheikh, an exchange student from Pakistan. Her death caused outcry overseas as well, and her family has been begging for answers and reasons why their daughter was killed. She was promised a safe and happy stay in the United States and wanted this experience to get one step closer to her dream of becoming a diplomat. Her uncle was featured on the BBC, asking the United States to “Stop this bullshit. Make your schools safe – not for the sake of my kid or my niece, for the sake of your own kid.” Though Sheikh’s death has led to uproar in Pakistan, the United States is starting to move on.
We’ve become so used to seeing mass shootings, especially school shootings, that even though our hearts break for the victims, thoughts and prayers are all we can seem to spare. The United States has less than five percent of the world’s population, but over thirty percent of the world’s mass shooters. Yet we continue to stand by and watch more mass shootings happen. They’re starting to become so common to us that we stop fighting back. How many more have to happen before we do something? Will we wait to get involved until we lose someone near to us? How many more children have to die?
No matter your political affiliation, it’s easy to see that nothing is happening right now. Democrats call for stricter gun regulations and republicans call for arming teachers – and yet nothing is happening. Our nation is starting to no longer care, instead printing media about other events and allowing school shooters near our children. It’s time for a change – we started to fight back, and we cannot stop.