An Open Letter To The Congress Who Refuses To Do Anything In The Wake Of Senseless Violence
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Politics and Activism

An Open Letter To The Congress Who Refuses To Do Anything In The Wake Of Senseless Violence

When will you realize that those statistics that you fire off were once people?

An Open Letter To The Congress Who Refuses To Do Anything In The Wake Of Senseless Violence

Dear Members of Congress,

I am scared.

I feel like every other day I hear about a senseless act of violence, and every time I feel like the reaction is the same. There’s public outcry, at least for a while. Pundits and politicians will debate whether or not the United States has a gun, racism, hate crime, nationalist, etc. problem. Journalists will write an OP-ED about the incident. But then after a few days or weeks, the rage and sadness fades away. People move on, unconsciously taking comfort in the fact that the violence didn’t directly affect them. For too many people, however, these heinous violent acts, the mass shootings, the incidents of police overreach, have become a reality.

Infamous and murderous dictator Joseph Stalin once said, “the death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic.” I ask now, how many more deaths of individuals do we need to understand that there is a problem in this country? How many more “statistics” do we need to analyze? How far gone are we as a community and country that we no longer feel loss of thousands of people each year to senseless violence? Too many of us sit in silence, too many of us are bystanders who are complicit in perpetuating this seemingly endless cycle.

I’m scared. I’m scared for my friends, my family, for future generations. I’m scared because my Congress, the people who are supposed to represent the American people, are too occupied satisfying their special interest donors. I'm scared because the NRA now dictates my 'safety' because politicians are too scared to fight them.

Why do we treat mass shootings like the norm? Why do I remember having code red drills as young as second grade? Why do seven year olds have to hide under desks with the lights off, sitting in terrifying silence as they practice hiding from an active shooter? Why are we as a nation okay with this?

Why are we okay with the disproportionate number of young black men and women who are killed? And why do we, despite the facts and figures, claim that there is no longer a problem with racism and nationalist sentiments in this country?

I understand that I am in a position of privilege. I do not experience racism or class differences in the same way that all too many people do. However, I am tired of being silent. I am tired of seeing myself and those around me stand silent instead of standing with each other and helping others.

To members of congress, how many more hashtagged names of victims you need? How many more mass shootings need to happen? When will we be able to admit that we have a problem with violence in this country and actually then do something to fix it?

People are not statistics. Remember that those numbers next to the phrase "number of gun deaths" were people with families and futures. They loved and were then lost far too soon. They deserve more than complicity and silence and inaction.

I am scared because I suspect that once again, nothing will change.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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