OPINION: Prescott’s Brush With Gun Violence Begs us to Question if Gun Rights are Worth it


Last week, a student brought a loaded gun to Prescott Elementary School. This has caused me to ask something I never thought I would have to ask: “How many times have elementary school students brought loaded guns to school?” It shouldn’t surprise you that we are the only nation, industrialized or not, where this is a regular occurrence. Not only do we have more school shootings than any other country, but we have 36 times as many school shootings as the country behind us. In fact, according to the Sandy Hook Promise, guns are the leading cause of death among American teens with 1 in 10 gun deaths being someone 19 or under. Last year, we experienced more school shootings than any other year since Columbine. 4.6 million American children live in a home where at least one gun is kept loaded and unlocked. All of this begs the question: “Why?”

To answer that, we look no further than how the NRA spent money for 48, nearly half, of the senators in congress. The top five being Mitt Romney ($13,647,676), Richard Burr ($6,987,380), Roy Blunt ($4,555,722), Thom Tillis ($4,429,333), and Marco Rubio ($3,303,355). It is my sincere belief that if the United States saw this level of corruption in a country like our own, it would have invaded on the terms of spreading democracy and crushing that corruption. While 43,000 students were exposed to gunfire last year with 34 adults and students dying as a result, 48 politicians were profiting off of not doing anything about it, both of Nebraska’s senators being among them. The way the system is set up at the moment encourages politicians to seek profit over people and we are seeing the results of this in real time.

The easy answer for how to fix this is to elect politicians that have our interests at heart rather than chasing money in D.C. Politicians have become so disconnected from the people of this country that it’s like ordering McDonald’s compared to a slaughterhouse. If Sen. Ted Cruz could acknowledge that the Uvalde school shooting happened and sat down with every member of the school to hear how the shooting has affected them, the trauma that going through that has given them, and the grief of losing friends and family members because he voted to allow an 18 year old to purchase two semi-automatic rifles with no background check whatsoever so that he could make $176,274 I think he would have a very different view on gun legislation. 

While some may argue that the red state politicians do in fact have their people’s interest at heart, I would disagree. Texas, the state with the second highest number of school shootings, has two senators of whom the NRA has lobbied for. I find it hard to believe that the people involved in the Robb elementary school shooting would agree with this notion. Or the people in the Sutherland Springs shooting in 2017 where 27 people died. Or the parents and students of the Santa Fe High School shooting in 2018. Or the West Freeway Church of Christ shooting in 2019. Or literally any other conglomeration of people who have either experienced a shooting firsthand or have seen a family member die at the hands of a mass shooting during their senator’s careers.

The way to fix this issue, at least temporarily, is with politicians who look out for their community and aren’t swayed by money to turn a blind eye to what it may do to the people they are supposed to represent. We need politicians who will look at the suffering that guns have caused and continue to cause and say “I will do everything in my power to make it as hard as possible for these events to ever happen again.” We need politicians who are part of communities where gun violence is prevalent instead of the rich white neighborhoods. This starts with us in local elections actually looking at the options to see who really has our interests at heart and using our vote to be heard.