School shootings should not be a political rallying cry

by Kyle Evers | Columnist

What does it mean to be safe?

For those of us who are students at schools of all levels around the country, that question is looming literally larger than life. And unfortunately, another individual made the decision to open fire on their classmates and finally, themselves, on Nov. 14 in Santa Clarita, California. No one can imagine the fear that everyone at that school is experiencing right now, and no one should even have to try.

But there is a larger issue at play, one that makes incidents like a school shooting even more polarizing: the national election for the president of the United States. And here is where we lose sight of what really matters. This horrible event should not be a rallying cry for anything, let alone be used to further a candidate’s own message in order to curry favor with the public to win the election. It is simply disgusting and downright deplorable.

According to Yahoo news, at least six of the current democratic candidates shared their support for the victims of the event via Twitter. Two of the candidates, Joe Biden and Andrew Yang, explicitly mentioned gun reform, and Kamala Harris and Julián Castro included a plea to fight on behalf of our children. Now, to clarify, all of these candidates expressed their condolences and sadness at the events, and I am not degrading that in any way.

But instead of simply ending their tweets there, they had to immediately play to the election by championing gun reform yet again, less than 24 hours after the shooting.

This is not the only problem. How can they be calling for gun reform when the current limited information of the case does not even support the notion that any sort of gun reform could have possibly stopped this attack? According to the LA Times, the young boy may have used  a .45 caliber “ghost gun” to commit this terrible act, on his 16th birthday. These “ghost guns” are made from a variety of parts coming from black market sources or via mail order and contain no serial number or any other way to track who is buying the parts. This was not a 30-year-old man running around with an AR-15, carrying six plus magazines of ammunition. This was a 16-year-old child with a pistol, in California—which, according to the Giffords Law Center, has the strictest gun laws in the United States, and is one of the states with the lowest gun death rate.

So what does this all mean? Even in a state with the best gun laws, school shootings still happen, but at the end of the day, these horrible events should not be used for political purposes. Just for one day, let’s set aside our political agendas and grieve with these families who need our support now more than ever.