Kendrick Castillo. 18.

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Riley Howell. 21

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What do these two young men that live 1,649 miles apart have in common?

They were both killed by an active shooter seven days apart from each other at their own school.

Both Howell and Castillo heroically charged the shooter and attempted to stop the heinous acts each shooter had mapped out in their sick and twisted minds.

These young men are heroes, but they shouldn't have to be.

School shootings are plaguing our nation, and there is little to nothing being done about it by our national government. Yes, there's a federal ban on bump stocks, but obviously, the issue isn't solved.

The solution isn't clear. Banning guns completely will only result in the illegal transaction of guns and more violence. However, sitting idly by as students are practically sitting ducks in their desks and classrooms will only allow for the violence we already see to spread and grow. Something needs to be done, and the politicians in Washington need to sit down and do something about it. Regardless of your party— children are dying. This should not be a debatable issue.

These kids have their whole lives ahead of them. They could be teachers, doctors, lawyers, electricians, but they are being robbed of their future every day that this issue goes without discussion in Congress.

I'm not here to preach what I think the solution should be. I'm here to preach that there have been too many young, innocent lives lost due to gun violence in school settings. When are we going to step up and do something and prove to the younger generations that we DO care about their safety and wellbeing?

Those two young men lost their lives in a heroic way and deserved to be honored for their bravery, but their actions should be catalysts in making some sort of reform or new legislation to help prevent such horrific events from happening again. This is not a political discussion that needs to be argued over in regards to "what conservatives want" and "what liberals want." This is about what our children want. The future of this country. All they want is to be safe. We owe them at least that.

You can stand up and fight for what's right. You can also sit idly by and do nothing. But when you get that gut-wrenching text from your child while they are at school, just to let you know they love you one last time because they aren't sure if they'll make it out of such a preventable situation alive, you will have to deal with the sadness and grief that so many families across our country have already dealt with. Protect our future

generations. Make a difference. We need change.

Rest In Peace Kendrick, Riley, and every other victim of such a horrific tragedy. We will make change for you, in your honor.