Jeanne LeGall hugs Claudia Carballada as they pay their respects at a makeshift memorial following the mass shooting in Buffalo, N.Y. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)

Opinion

Opinion: Enough is enough

We need gun control. And we need it now. 
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/riavoodi/" target="_self">Ria Voodi</a>

Ria Voodi

June 3, 2022
How many times are we going to wake up to the same headlines? How many minutes of silence will we hold? How many condolences can we offer? How many times are we going to say we need change? How many innocent lives need to be lost before our politicians finally decide to take action?

Enough is enough. 

For years, we’ve been caught in this vicious cycle of attempting reform and changes in gun laws. It starts out when the news breaks about a new school shooting. This is followed by a massive influx of content in the media, from all things ranging from emotional tweets to detailed articles to calls for reform.

This is then followed by millions of people expressing their thoughts, prayers and condolences to those who lost loved ones in the tragedy. If the shooting is big enough to make national headlines, there might be some debates on social media about the state of current gun laws. 

But what happens after that? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. 

We have reached a position where we have not only become extremely desensitized to violence, but to the point where this has become our new normal. This is not normal. By any means.

School is meant to be a place for learning, a place where children grow and develop, and a place where children can be just that, children. It is not, however, a place where both children should fear for their safety. We cannot sit complacently in a society where it’s seemingly a common occurrence for parents to worry that their children might not come home alive. 

It’s clear that our elected officials care only about furthering their self-interests and corporate benefits at the expense of their constituents. It seems like no amount of calls to action, no amount of anger or no amount of sadness actually contributes to any change.

As students, we spend the better part of every day in school and we cannot sit quietly as this continues to happen and affect thousands of our fellow classmates in classrooms across the nation. There is power in numbers and there is power in our voices.

Be the change you want to see in this world and start speaking up. Make your voice heard and do your part. 

There are many different ways to do so. Sign up to join your local school/communities’ Students Demand Action chapter at https://studentsdemandaction.org/get-involved/#new or even better, create your own. Start volunteering to work on campaigns for candidates whose platform aims to address gun violence. Start showing your support for gun control legislation. There are so many opportunities available — all you have to do is look. 

These are children, just like you and me. Children who have their whole lives ahead of them. We cannot continue to let lives senselessly be lost simply because our country fails to act. We cannot sit back quietly and just watch.

One day, it’s Sandy Hook. The next day, it’s Parkman. The day after, it’s Uvalde. And tomorrow, it could be your school. We need gun control. And we need it now. 

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