Let me begin by explaining my personal beliefs:

I am someone who prays. Every. Single. Day. I have a beautiful relationship with God, and I personally do believe in the absolute power of prayer. I rely heavily on prayer as I go about my day, and I am so grateful for the relationship that I have. In fact, I pray each morning that I never have to hear news of the latest shooting involving my loved ones, in my hometown, or even any shootings at all.

I also pray for the families of those who have personally experienced the Black Lives Matter movement and how devastating the events have been. I also pray for young women, the children of Alabama, who may be forced to carry a child that is the product of rape. These are my individual beliefs.

These are just some of the instances that I pray for.

While I am beyond thankful to have a relationship with a God that works miracles that I have witnessed firsthand, a God that listens to our prayers and makes a way, I am additionally thankful that I believe in one other aspect of prayer: God helps those who help themselves.

This is undoubtedly controversial, as most things are. Everyone is entitled to their individual beliefs. My belief is that thoughts and prayers will NOT stop shootings, will NOT prevent the access of weapons into the hands of those they do not belong in, and will NOT stop the madness occurring in Alabama along with a myriad of states striving to follow in their footsteps. Prayer is powerful and beautiful, and I pray for the hearts and minds of those who are suffering every minute of every day due to the consequences of laws.

Like many of our nation's problems, there is no simple solution. Creating and enforcing stricter gun laws will not put shootings to a permanent halt, I am aware. While these are deeply emotional times that do require thoughts and prayers, these are also political times. To say that ones do "not want to talk politics" in these instances is an excuse. It is an excuse to carry on with the detrimental ways of our country after 48 mass shootings in the month of May 2019 alone, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

There is NO excuse for this.

It baffles me how seemingly fast the state of Georgia was able to enact its Heartbeat Law, along with Alabama and its near-total ban on abortions, yet mass shootings have plagued our country for years and years and without legislation. Why are these shootings so frequent? Why have the families of those involved in the Black Lives Matter movement still not acquired justice for their loved ones? Why are young children being separated from their families? Why do my views matter, why do your views matter?

They don't. My personal views do not matter in these instances, nor do yours. What matters is the fact that we are without concrete bills, we are without active legislation, and because of this, many are without their loved ones. I send my thoughts and prayers wholeheartedly to those affected by our most recent shooting, in my hometown of Virginia Beach, yet by the time this article is posted I am unsure if this will be the latest occurrence. What is devastatingly necessary is a change that goes far beyond my individual prayers and beliefs.