Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness



On Aug. 7, 2019, days after a mass shooting at a Wal-Mart in El Paso where 23 people were killed, community members gathered at Washington Park in protest against gun violence.

Syd Brock, Editor and Chief

The Pro-life and Pro-choice movements experienced an uproar when a Supreme Court draft overruling Roe v. Wade was popularized in April. However,who are we as a nation to call ourselves pro-life with a lack of widespread protection for citizens against firearms?

 Since Donald Trump’s presidency and the effects of a more conservative Congress, the pro-life ideology of criminalizing abortion as murder has become increasingly spoken upon. With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the protection of women’s healthcare would fall through and leave it up to state governors to decide the legality of abortion. 

According to the Gun Violence Archive and the Congressional Research Service the United States has also experienced more mass shootings, 248, than days, 145, this year.

The increasing amount of mass shootings and less healthcare has been exhausting to watch as a young person with the female reproductive system. I find myself living in a place where a person has to carry a fetus full term so that child can have the future opportunity to be shot in their 2nd grade math class. Not very “pro-life.”

Every school I’ve attended teaches me how to run, how to hide, how to barricade, how to be quiet. They say it’s for my safety.

I watched my mom, an executive director of a school, figure out new protocols after every school shooting she witnessed in the United States. I watched her try to protect me and my peers because the government wouldn’t help her. 

I was 7-years old when the Sandy Hook shooting happened in 2012, since then, I have experienced three real school lockdown situations and a mass shooting in my city–It’s for my safety.

I’ve listened to countless health classes promote abstinence rather than protection. I’ve seen signs, “Abortions a Sin.” I’ve seen the Planned Parenthood next to my high school shut down. The only access I had seen for young people my age to get reproductive healthcare. 

I’ve been told children deserve a life, they deserve a future, that the baby could have cured cancer. I think the 23 people at Walmart in my city of El Paso deserved a life. And the 19 children who attended Robb elementary school in Uvalde deserved a future. And one of the 10 at the grocery store in Buffalo could have cured cancer. 

But, the same people preaching to me how my right to a medical procedure is murder, still need their AR-15 in case someone steps on their property after 5 p.m.

The same party titling themselves Pro-life constantly live in hypocrisy being the same party that is pro-gun, pro-death penalty, and pro-war. The same party that refuses to fund the educators who figure out how to protect me because they won’t. The same party who will kill me for my baby but not ensure safety in foster care. The same party who makes me wait longer for health care than a gun.

The government has never been pro my life.

I agree with some politicians, the youth are our future. As a young person, I ask that I feel safe in my own school and my own body. I want a government that provides easier and accessible healthcare for their nation despite race or gender.

I want better protection for the same nation from being killed at the hand of firearms, being killed because of their race or gender. I want better protection for the youth of the future,better protection within their school. I want more done for the teachers protecting them. 

I do not want another law made against me, and I do not want to continue to worry everyday about my safety. 

I am tired. I am so tired, and my frustration can only be put into so many words. But I will only sit in silence for so long while people are punished for being students, or women, or not white, or not Christian, or anything that separates them from the system that has only shown us more hate than love. 

We’ve been protesting the same things for over 50 years, and for over 50 years little has been done for us. For too long profit has been prioritized over people. 

To all the lawmakers in Washington D.C., tell me you’re pro-life when you start to care about people other than you.