WISE-ROJAS | How Race and Society Influence Gun Violence 

Content warning: This article contains mentions of gun violence and radicalism. Sitting on my bed, my phone lit up as per usual with the latest headlines. My heart dropped to my stomach when I read the headline: “Developing Story: School Shooting in an Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.”A story documenting the victims revealed how nearly all the victims were of Latinx descent. Other reports documented that the shooter posted his violent plans on Twitter, with no one taking the time to pay attention to his mental state and how it would impact others. One explained how easy it is to get an assault rifle like an AR-15 — the shooter got it as soon as he turned 18. 

These stories hurt any empathetic person to hear, no doubt about it.

GUEST ROOM | A Call To March

Gun violence is something that has never directly impacted me. It was only through the Virginia Tech shooting, in which a gunman killed over twenty people on a snowy morning in Blacksburg, that I have any concrete connection to gun violence at all; one of my best friends from kindergarten lost a cousin that day. The evening of that massacre, as I sat in my living room with CNN’s emotional coverage on in the background while I copied my spelling words, I remember thinking about how big a deal it was. It’s not like this anymore though. Nearly eleven years and thousands of deaths from gun violence later, even our overused tropes and platitudes, our vapid thoughts and prayers, feel overbearing, much less meaningless.

GUEST ROOM | Guns and Poses

When Nikolas Cruz opened fire in Parkland on Valentine’s Day, the shooting left in its wake not only the usual and maligned ‘thoughts and prayers,’ but an avalanche of gun control advocacy. However, the response to the Parkland shooting could, ironically, end up being detrimental to meaningful solutions to gun violence. Many on the left correctly criticize the right for being sensationalist and for seeking overly simplistic solutions to deep and complex issues. Yet, many gun control advocates seem to fall into the same trap. The elevation of the Parkland students to the forefront of the national conversation on gun control is, quite frankly, manifestly inconsistent.