Original Illustration by Stephanie DeAngelis
Yet again, we've found ourselves staring at unimaginable headlines informing us that yet another mass shooting has occurred. At least 17 people were killed in a high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, on February 14, CNN reports.
Just this past October, I watched the world stop and turn its attention to my hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada, after what was considered one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history. While politicians and public figures offered their thoughts and prayers, I sat by my phone waiting to hear from friends back home. I watched news reports roll in as my Facebook feed revealed how many of my high school classmates were at the event and whether or not they were okay. I learned that a girl I lifeguarded with in my teens spent her evening transporting strangers to the hospital and that my sorority sister from college had been shot in the jaw and was in critical condition.
I know I am not alone in my frustrations over the perpetual misuse of guns in America and that my experience is mirrored in the experiences of so many others who have been personally affected by the brutalities of gun violence. Today, as we stand in the wake of another tragedy in a seemingly endless succession of massacres, it's time to do more than send thoughts and prayers and post messages on social media.
Jimmy Kimmel Live writer Bess Kalb agrees. She took to Twitter to retweet each politician who has publicly proclaimed their condolences for the victims and their families of the Parkland, Florida, shooting yet previously accepted donations from the National Rifle Association.
Among those dubbed by Kalb as "NRA-kept souls" are senators Richard Burr, who has received $6,986,620; Marco Rubio, who has received $3,303,355; and Joni Ernst, who has received $3,061,941; according to The New York Times, just to name a few.
Kalb's clever form of activism ensures her voice is heard by those with the power to enact change while holding her representatives accountable for their actions. If you're looking for ways to take action, along with spreading messages of love and support year-round for all who need it, you can use your vote to impart power to leaders who stand for stricter gun-control laws in the midterm elections taking place in November of this year.
Find out how to register to vote and make sure your voice is heard. Let's put these heartbreaking headlines about mass shootings in the past, once and for all.