Two weeks ago, I wrote a post about listening to the voices of the students affected by the Parkland shooting.
Just yesterday, another shooting took place at Great Mills High School in my home state of Maryland.
As usual, it only took a short time for the Parkland students to be replaced as a major media narrative in the United States. School shootings unfortunately have a short shelf life, and it takes a new shooting like the one that happened yesterday to bring it back to national attention.
Citizens need to do everything we can to keep the pressure on legislators to bring about change and not to let the conversation about gun control continue to fade into the background.
These conversations are so divisive that many would prefer not to have them. It’s productive to start by looking at what we all have in common. Everyone agrees that no parent should have to send their child to school and worry if their life is in danger.
Both sides think these shootings are tragedies and want to put an end to them. They just disagree vehemently on how best to do so. Either way, it is the government’s job to listen to the people they represent, not powerful gun lobbyists and special interest groups.
The current system is broken – there can be no doubt about that. America sees more gun violence in our schools than any other similar nation, so there is clearly a need for something to change.
Aside from the Maryland shooting, a package bomber in Austin, Texas detonated 5 bombs over the last 19 days before killing himself just last night. Americans need to start looking at and defining these individuals as terrorists.
The vast majority of mass killings are perpetrated by white American males, but Islamophobia is peddled by some politicians to instil fear in the public and advance their own agendas.
London is one of the largest cities in the world, and before coming here I expected to have to be more wary of violence on a day-to-day basis. I’ve found the opposite, though – I feel safer here among a huge number of people from an incredible diversity of backgrounds than I do in America.
When I see the news from my home country and think about how many innocent people have died from random domestic terrorist attacks, I see just how dangerous living in America is.
This was the 17th school shooting in the U.S. this year and it’s only March. It seems ridiculous that still nothing has been done to prevent them from occurring. No one knows exactly how to solve the problem, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. Any attempt at change is better than what is happening now.
I feel that new laws should be in place to make it harder for would-be criminals to get their hands on assault-style weapons, but I can’t say for sure that putting such laws in place would help.
America as a culture may have too much of a fascination with guns for them to ever become completely illegal, but in the immediate future the most important thing is that change happens. For that to occur, people have to refuse to let the conversation about the issue fade away.
Photo by Mark Wilson, Getty Images