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When will it stop?

As a first year teacher, I often get asked about the risk of being gunned down. Not too many people know this but when the senseless and tragic shooting occurred in Uvalde, Texas I was taking certification exams to become a certified bilingual teacher. In fact, I already had a job offer to begin teaching at the start of the school year. I recall thinking how heroic and brave fallen educators Eva Mireles and Irma Garcia were. I remember thinking how I would’ve done the same thing if I were in their shoes. I also remember thinking that nobody is safe from gun violence. Not the students, teachers, or everyday citizens.

Since that time, I have begun teaching and I absolutely love it. Yes, my students have had to practice active shooter drills. Its extremely heartbreaking watching innocent 7 and 8 year old children run and hide without making a single sound. On one hand, I’m proud of them for knowing exactly what to do. On the other hand, I’m horrified and sad because they know exactly what to do. Is this really the world we live in? I have to interrupt the learning process so that my students can practice “just in case” there is ever an active shooter on campus. Its an awful reality we all have to face. Weeks into the school year, I was given DNA kits for each student to take home. At first, I didn’t question it and I simply sent them home. Then I came across an article which said that the DNA kits were mandated by Greg Abbott as part of his response to the Uvalde tragedy. The idea behind the kits is that bodies could be easily identified if DNA was ready and available. This truly angered and infuriated me to my core. An 18 year old unhinged person was able to easily secure an automatic assault weapon and take the lives of 21 students and teachers. And the governor’s response is to make sure Texas school children have DNA kits on hand??? MAKE IT MAKE SENSE!

But I digress, this post isn’t about Greg Abbot’s gross ineptitude as governor of the great state of Texas. Gun violence isn’t a Texas problem. It’s an America problem. Columbine. Sandy Hook. Aurora, Colorado. Stoneman Douglas High School. Pulse Nightclub. Las Vegas. Sutherland Springs, Texas. Uvalde, Texas. And as of late Saturday night Colorado Springs, Colorado has been added to the ever-growing list. An armed young man entered Club Q, a night club for the LGBTQ community and opened fire. 5 have been murdered and 18 were injured-some of which are currently listed as critically injured. The casualties, I’m certain, could’ve been far worse had it not been for the heroic patrons who risked their own lives to subdue the shooter. Upon reading this information, I felt pride. I’m proud that my fellow Americans are getting tired of the gun violence and are taking matters in to their own hands. These brave souls looked evil in the eye and said “NOT TODAY”. Because of their quick thinking, this particular shooter will answer for his heinous crime.

As the story is still developing, not much is known about the assailant other than he has been identified as 22 year old Anderson Lee Aldrich. The commonality among all of these senseless tragedies is that the shooters are all young men barely out of childhood. Although they have minimal life experience as adults, they are so easily able to purchase firearms with the intention to inflict harm. Yet, nothing will be done about it because of the 2nd amendment constitutional right which has been largely misinterpreted. I do not believe that our forefathers imagined gun violence as it has unfolded in modern times. I fully agree that “we, the people” should have the right to bear arms. I do not agree that civilians in a non-military capacity should have access to automatic weapons. You’re a civilian in a suburban neighborhood, you’re not a soldier fighting for his life on the war-torn streets of Iraq. What could you possibly need an automatic weapon for?

The gun violence has been out of hand for many years. Too many lives have been lost. The government has been standing idly and watching American families mourn their loved ones. When will it stop?

Con mucho carino,

Melissa

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