Gun control process needs to progress faster

It’s been a little over one year.

One year has passed since I sat on the lawn of Hays High with over a hundred fellow students, mourning the loss of students in Florida after yet another school shooting, now known as America’s deadliest high school mass shooting.

We sat silently for 17 minutes, one minute for each student killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in unison with students around the nation protesting school violence and to bring attention to gun violence.

The National School Walkout Day was eye opening for many reasons, some of which I expected but many I did not.

Being from Kansas, gun control is a hotly contested subject. So much so that anyone suggesting gun control or restrictions is met with fierce debate. In some cases, my opinions on gun control were met with intelligent conversations that most likely ended in both sides seeing certain points as valid. This was a minority.

Some private messages, snapchats, and texts I received when supporting the National School Walkout were negative. Some attacked me personally instead of the issue.

Now a year later, I wonder if it was all worth it. School shootings are still happening all over our nation. Violence is still on the rise.

In the weeks following the one year anniversary of the Parkland shooting, two students who survived the massacre, Sydney Aiello and Calvin Desir, took their own lives. Survivors guilt, post traumatic stress disorder, as well as many other mental issues plague those who walked away, causing more carnage in the aftermath of tragedy.

But there is hope. In part due to the catalyst that the Parkland shooting eventually became. Students everyone used their voices. Adults joined in and changes began to happen.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, there were several gun safety issues addressed in Kansas in 2018. New laws now bars fugitives, immigrants illegally in the U.S., persons convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence with the last five years, and persons subject to restraining orders from possessing weapons.

In many other states, gun restrictions are being better enforced. New laws are being implemented and bi-partisan legislation are slowly making America safer, while ensuring gun owners retain their Second Amendment rights.

In the end, regardless of our opinions on gun control, violence is never the answer. No child school be afraid to go to school. Making schools safe should be everyone’s continued priority.