Hi M.R. Gavin,
Sorry its been a while since my last note. I could blame homework or my Olympic obsession, but that wouldn’t be the entire truth.
The truth is I’m disheartened. In the wake of yet another school shooting, I feel remarkably sad, exceedingly angry, and frustratingly helpless. Academics have always been a source of comfort for me, and school a welcome shelter from the outside world. It makes me sick that American schools have turned into a war zone and students are a physical casualty of political ideology.
I know that I have some power, however limited, to encourage change. I have written my senators begging for increased gun control, assault weapons bans, and the prioritization of students over guns. I continue to speak and debate tirelessly with those around me, so as to ensure that gun violence is neither normalized nor forgotten. I can attend marches, protests, and sit-ins. I stay up to date on current events, read voraciously, and listen to those with knowledge and political expertise. I intend on voting only for politicians with strong gun control stances. Still, my actions feel useless, a drop in a bucket with a hole in the bottom.
I am holding tightly onto that which give me hope. I am encouraged by the surviving students of the Florida school massacre. They’ve refused to be silenced, and have employed their grief as a catalyst for political and moral change. I am reassured by our hometown newspaper which, despite being circulated in a red county, published a front page article calling for gun control and the prioritization of student safety. I draw hope from those who have traded in party allegiance in exchange for human dignity and moral observance.
I think of the victims, I pray for their families, and I advocate on their behalf to prevent future tragedy. Thoughts and prayers are most effective when combined with actions.
With a heavy heart,