On February 14, the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida resulted in 17 people killed and 17 more wounded. My heart goes out to the victims’ loved ones. I am both deeply saddened and sickened that so many innocent lives have been lost due, once again, to gun violence.
Along with many other Americans, I am astonished that our government has allowed history to repeat itself over and over again. How many more massacres are needed before new, substantial gun safety legislation is passed? Given that tens of thousands of Americans are dying every year from gun violence, we are facing nothing less than a public health crisis.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the federal agency charged with conducting research and developing plans to solve the nation’s most serious public health issues, the 1996 Dickey Amendment, perpetually lobbied for by the National Rifle Association (NRA), prevents the CDC from using its funds to do so with respect to gun violence.
I often find myself speaking passionately about this topic – whether it’s at the dinner table with my parents or in the car with my friends. I believe that each and every student, staff, and faculty member has an undeniable right to safety when they enter their school each day. But as long as lax gun regulations remain the status quo, we cannot take for granted our safety while in school.
Venting my frustrations is not enough — it’s time to take action. On Saturday, March 24, I plan to take to the streets of Washington, D.C. to participate in the March For Our Lives. USG peers, I urge you to join me that day in demanding an end to gun violence and mass shootings in our schools once and for all.