Reseda High School

Opinion: After Parkland, what’s next?

On the issue of school shootings, as a student, I have felt that Congress has failed us ever since Sandy Hook. After every mass shooting since then, I have found myself only more disappointed at Congress’ inability to act. But in order for Congress or anybody for that matter, to be a disappointment, there must also be hope. We need stricter gun control. The evidence, the cross-national studies, and the victims all tell us this.

As a senior soon to graduate, I have to ask myself what about the others who will come after me. What about my younger siblings? What about their parents and their friends? And why am I even asking that today? No child should ever have to experience or even contemplate the thought of a school shooting.

But rather than to fall into a pit of despair, it is more imperative now than ever, to have hope. I believe in an America where no one lives in fear of gun violence. I believe in an America where our leaders are also not afraid of the gun lobbies.

I believe in an America where the 2nd Amendment and common sense gun laws can coexist, in an America where this isn’t “delusional.” I believe in an America where Congress ensures us kids are safe at school and a Congress that ensures that dangerous weapons stay out of the wrong hands — and I say this, not because of political conviction, but rather because it is “necessary and proper.”

It’s time for Congress to reinstate its federal ban on assault weapons (which the data shows significantly reduces the frequency and lethality of mass shootings). It’s time for Congress to strengthen its universal background check system. It’s time for Congress to do its job.

We have reached a point in our history, where we must no longer rally because “Yes, we can,” but rather because “Yes, we must.” Yes, we must enact stronger gun control. Yes, we must protect our children. Yes, we must march for our lives.