Kendrick Castillo, a senior at STEM School Highlands Ranch in Colorado and Riley Howell who went to UNC Charlotte didn't know each other, but they have so much in common. Both just barely adults. Both had huge hearts and immense love for people. Both had shooters enter their classrooms. Something in their massive hearts told them to try to stop the armed men. Both of them were shot. And both men would die as heroes, within a week of each other.
I don't want to minimize their selflessness or say they shouldn't have risked their lives to save the lives of others. I think what they did is far beyond incredible. But I think it almost glorifies shootings. It is a good way to put a positive light on the darkest of moments, but it shouldn't be a story we're telling at all. Our students shouldn't be As heroes or otherwise.
No one should go to school, or anywhere, in fear. School letting out for the summer or graduation used to just be a relief because it meant we weren't in school anymore. Now it means we'll be safe, even if just a little while.
But I still have at least two years of school left, and it does scare me. Especially when I hear about a shooting at another college campus. One not very far from mine. I know people who go to UNCC and that one struck me differently. It felt like there was an even higher chance that it could happen to me.
And what scares me the most is that I'm sure I'm not brave enough to try to stop a gunman. That kind of courage doesn't reside in me. I'd cripple in fear.
So I guess what I don't understand is why nothing has been done to really stop these hateful acts of violence. After so many shootings last year and the year before, some regulations should have been made. There shouldn't be any excuses left to make. Not when the Prime Minister of New Zealand said she would be seeking reform after just the one mosque shooting.
It always seems as though our lawmakers aren't motivated, or they're distracted. While more deranged people get their hands on firearms, people in office are worried about tax returns and the Mueller Report. They'll make excuses or say they'll work on it. But it shouldn't be that hard to try literally anything to prevent another shooting. Any amount of progress would be worth something. Selfless victims risking their lives shouldn't be a solution. We can't convince ourselves that this is somehow God's plan.
Instead of having to honor another victim, there should be a call to action. It isn't a Democratic or Republican issue, it's a human issue, and they should all be busting their asses to fix things. I don't want to mourn any more heroes or victims. I don't want to live in fear through the next two years I'm in school, or for my sister in middle school to worry either.