There have already been 104 Mass Shootings in 2021.

Trigger Warning: School Shootings

 

In March 2018, thousands of other students from Fairview High School and I, walked out of our classrooms and onto the turf field to mourn the students who were murdered in the Parkland shooting in Florida. We were silent for 17 minutes to honor the 17 students whose lives were taken from them. A few student survivors spoke at the walk-out, urging us to reach out to legislation and seek gun reform to prevent tragedies like the one they had experienced from happening. I remember an uneasiness at hearing them tell the horrific stories of a gunman walking through their school, one too similar to my own high school. I remember my heart breaking upon hearing their names and thinking it could have been me. 

In March 2021, a gunman walked into our local grocery store, 5 minutes away from the location of our walk-out, and murdered 10 people. The King Soopers where we bussed multiple days out of the week to get lunch or candy is now a crime scene. The space in which we’d gone to do scavenger hunts for classes or buy birthday balloons for friends is stained in blood. My heart hurt and the pain I felt was buried in anger and frustration that our walk-out had been in vain. 10 more lives stopped that day when they went to buy groceries. It happened in my community. 

In the days following, I heard my dad on the phone repeatedly saying “I never thought it would be my own community.” The most sickening part of the Boulder shooting is that I was not surprised that it happened in my town. I was not shocked because my generation has grown up with active shooter drills and the constant fear of going to school. And that makes me devastated. I remember feeling the pain in my chest when we locked down for an active shooter and it was not a drill; it was a false alarm, but I will never forget asking to borrow my classmate’s phone to text my parents that I loved them. I won't forget staging a lock-out when there was an active shooter hostage situation next to our beloved bagel shop also 5 minutes from school. What precedent is being set that students must fear for their lives when they go to school? It happened in my community and the current laws enable it to happen in any. 

In the first three months of 2021 there have already been 104 mass shootings in the United States. This number exceeds that of last year, and has continually risen over the span of the past 5 years. Children deserve education free from fear. These mass shootings will not deescalate if we do not take initiative as soon as possible. Gun reform was our goal in 2018 and gun reform remains our goal 3 years later. Who would you have to lose to gun violence in order for you to protest?