No more thoughts and prayers

By Kayla Ross, Back Page Editor

As a kid, summer is undeniably the best time of year. No homework, no bedtime and no structure for a solid twelve weeks. My only obligations were to keep my little sisters alive while my parents went to work, and I usually just kept them content with the cheapest popsicles on hand. But this summer, there were nineteen less children enjoying summer in Uvalde, Texas. There were nineteen families without sticky kids playing in the sprinkler out back. Last year, there were at least 796 children who didn’t know that summer 2021 was their last.

This nation says it feels their absence, and millions of Facebook users among thousands of politicians send up their “thoughts and prayers.” Well yes, I think about the state of this nation every single day. I think to myself in a movie theater, “That man has used the bathroom three times so far. Is that odd?” And I pray to our God fervently, begging for him to take me back to the summer days when I couldn’t be concerned with anything except for whether the ice cream truck was going to come that afternoon. I pray that He will protect my nine-year-old and 14-year-old sisters in their classrooms as they go back to school. Sometimes my wish is less specific than that; sometimes my wish is solely for a Supreme Court that hears the needs of its nation and not the needs of its members’ own motivations. 

I just turned eighteen. And I have never felt more like an adult than I have this past year. My mind is occupied, all of the time, filled with anxious thoughts about the future possibilities of our political climate and ever-changing policies. Considering that I have grown up in a cycle of tragedies, the events of 2022 feel different. The Instagram story posts of Generation Z will not quit after a week. This generation has lost too many, seen too many deaths and opportunities stripped before our own eyes. We will not sit. We will not be quiet. We will fight for our states to choose people over power. How funny it is, that the supreme court decided that states can make decisions about their own governing bodies, and yet women were stripped of that liberty. 

What are the motivations of the court, anyway? Is it not the entire premise of the court to be unbiased and unaffiliated? Clearly, we are disillusioned if we believe that the intentions of the original writers of the constitution are being kept. The court has always been a mode of presidents to stack political power. Once these judges are approved and working together, there is very little that can be done to check the power of the court. When I was a kid, just studying the Constitution and American history, I always wondered why there were so many state sovereignty clauses and how they could even be applied. But now, my only hope is that states choose to use these protections against the recent decisions of the Supreme Court. 

And now, a six year old child has shot his own teacher in an elementary school in Virginia. Yes, this is almost entirely the result of neglect of their parents, and this child should have been taught better. Luckily, the teacher is now in stable condition and was the only person shot. Conclusively, however, a gun was made too accessible to this child. Proactive action must be taken against gun violence. Putting guns in the hands of teachers will not solve this issue. Teaching children to be kind will not solve this issue. Thoughts and prayers will not solve this issue. Doing nothing is not solving this issue. Doing nothing is not a viable solution.