It’s time to be angry: our apathy with gun violence must end

Kavita O'Malley, Opinions Editor

 

 America is a country full of contradictions and those contradictions are costing lives. If I had to use one word to describe America it would be hypocrisy. Every day, Americans open their phones and see the news that, again, someone is dead. Children are dead. Innocent people are dead. And they know that they could be dead next. And yet, every day, Americans leave their houses and continue to live their lives. 

I for one can tell you, 100%, that I have been desensitized to murder. Opening my phone to hear that 19 students in an elementary school have been killed doesn’t even faze me, and that’s a problem. 

10 years after the Sandy Hook shooting, an 18 year old entered Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas and now 21 people have been pronounced dead. Not only is this awful and disgusting but it is also just plain ridiculous that things like this continue to happen.

There is not a human being in the world who can look at this situation (and the more than 900 shootings within school parameters over the past 10 years) and think ‘this is normal, this is ok.’ The fact is, it is not ok for children to be afraid to leave their houses. People should not be afraid to go to the supermarket. Women should not be afraid to go to the spa. No one should have to live under constant fear of fire. And yet, the government continues to protect the rights of gun owners over the rights of children, Black Americans, LGBTQ Americans, women, and so many others. 

The situation with gun violence in America is inhumane. We cannot continue to allow ourselves to ignore the reality that we live in. We see it as normal but we can’t, we have to be angry. We have to stand up and recognize that the people in power are not working to protect us and they don’t care if we are afraid. 

I often struggle, as I know many others do, with feeling powerless when everything around me seems to be falling apart. But there are things we can do. Registering to vote and voting well on the issues that matter is just about the most important thing anyone can do to help. For those of us who aren’t yet eligible to vote, we have to remember to be angry. We have to remember to speak out against what is happening and learn all that we can so that when we get the chance, we can take action—because unfortunately, it’s us who could be next. •