Op-Ed

Speak Up

We must curve gun violence

There’s nothing particularly special about me that would predispose me to gun violence. However, in just three years I’ve been impacted by four acts of preventable gun violence. Three years ago, as a Florida State University student, I stayed up all night reaching out to friends and classmates to confirm that they were not in the university’s library where an armed gunman entered and shot three students. After that incident, the place where I felt at home started to feel less safe. Two years ago, on a Sunday morning, I watched in horror as the death toll at Pulse nightclub in Orlando kept climbing, hoping that no loved ones were there during the massacre. Members of my LGBTQ Latin community who gathered for a fun night out were attacked in a violent way. This moved me in an incredibly deep and personal way. Then last October, as news broke of the massacre at the Las Vegas music festival, I frantically texted a friend present at the event. I was relieved to hear that she was safe, but she will now live for the rest of her life with the mental scars left by a domestic terrorist. And last week, gun violence struck close to home again, as I learned of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. The shooting was just blocks away from my parent’s home. A school administrator from my high school lost his life. The most frustrating part about all of this is that the solutions are out there. We just need elected officials to propose and vote on common-sense gun reform. We need to reject terrible ideas by politicians in the pockets of the gun lobby, and instead champion sensible legislation like SB 196. This bill would ban the sale of assault weapons like the ones used in Pulse, Las Vegas, and Stoneman Douglas High School. We must also be vigilant in allowing rhetoric that demonizes mental illnesses and direct our action to the root cause of these tragedies: weak gun laws.

UNLIMITED DIGITAL ACCESS

Subscriptions starting at 99 cents per month

Home Delivery Subscribers

Learn how to ACTIVATE
your full Digital Access

NOT a Subscriber?

Show my options >

More Videos

Miami poet Richard Blanco's tribute to Orlando: 'One Pulse — One Poem' 4:16

Miami poet Richard Blanco's tribute to Orlando: 'One Pulse — One Poem'

Parkland students make emotional return to school campus 0:59

Parkland students make emotional return to school campus

At Parkland’s final funeral, Martin Duque remembered for helping others 1:31

At Parkland’s final funeral, Martin Duque remembered for helping others

Tyler Johnson says talk with Wade, Haslem opened his eyes 1:55

Tyler Johnson says talk with Wade, Haslem opened his eyes

Why it's so hard to break an opioid addiction 2:44

Why it's so hard to break an opioid addiction

Dwyane Wade talks about Heat's loss to Pelicans 1:10

Dwyane Wade talks about Heat's loss to Pelicans

Guy Fieri announces the winners of the 2018 Burger Bash 7:14

Guy Fieri announces the winners of the 2018 Burger Bash

Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho is not in favor of arming teachers with firearms 1:17

Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho is not in favor of arming teachers with firearms

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra on team’s tribute to Douglas shooting victims 0:24

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra on team’s tribute to Douglas shooting victims

Deerfield Beach students march to Douglas High School memorial 0:53

Deerfield Beach students march to Douglas High School memorial

Hillary Clinton takes on Trump administration, rebukes Spicer during California speech

Hillary Clinton took on the Trump administration in one of her first public speeches since the election. Clinton faulted the administration for its abandoned health care policy and lack of female representation in top jobs. She also rebuked White House press secretary Sean Spicer for chiding a black female journalist for shaking her head during a daily news conference.
AP
Hillary Clinton takes on Trump administration, rebukes Spicer during California speech 1:03

Hillary Clinton takes on Trump administration, rebukes Spicer during California speech

Miami poet Richard Blanco's tribute to Orlando: 'One Pulse — One Poem' 4:16

Miami poet Richard Blanco's tribute to Orlando: 'One Pulse — One Poem'

Parkland students make emotional return to school campus 0:59

Parkland students make emotional return to school campus

At Parkland’s final funeral, Martin Duque remembered for helping others 1:31

At Parkland’s final funeral, Martin Duque remembered for helping others