[NEWS BRIEF] “Anybody could be the next victim,” students create posters to demand action against gun violence

To express opposition to the National Rifle Association’s annual conference in the wake of the tragic Uvalde school shooting, @optforactionbhs made posters protesting gun violence and advocating for gun control last Friday. 

Junior and research director Gargi Rakhade said she hoped to pressure politicians attending the NRA conference, like Trump and Cruz, to draft new legislation and strengthen gun laws, or at the very least bring awareness to the issue at hand: guns. 

“I think it’s always important to just be aware of these things and call to action in any way,” Rakhade said. “I hope that people realize just how severe of an issue this is and how it’s not going to go away until legislators actually do something about it. They can’t keep blaming the people; they need to start fixing the actual institution itself and solving this gun issue at its root.”

Junior and OFA President Mitsuki Jiang said she hopes that this meeting can send a message about “not only what happened in Uvalde but also how it affected students here.”

“It was actually Gargi who brought up the idea of this meeting to me first and I think it was important especially after the shooting that happened in Uvalde,” Jiang said. “It was horrible and I think a lot of people, although they weren’t directly affected, were affected somehow so I think it’s important as a club to call for action, to take action somehow. So we’re here making posters.”

Sophomore OFA member Blen Abebe said she believes “guns should not be anywhere near schools.” Abebe said she thinks that the Uvalde shootings and others like it have highlighted the need for gun control to prevent similar tragedies. 

“I think it’s a great cause,” Abebe said. “I hope that there’s more gun control. I hope people are more aware of the second amendment and just how much gun control matters now because of the recent shooting.”

As the issue of gun violence grows more prevalent, junior and research officer Theo Hunt said he hopes that politicians attending the NRA conference, including former president Donald Trump and US Senator Ted Cruz, are pressured to take action. 

“I don’t know if we’re going to meet Trump and Cruz in person, but they’ll be there so our voices will definitely be heard,” Hunt said. “If I did meet them face to face though, I would just tell them to actually do something because they have the platform and the ability to do stuff. It’s their responsibility and duty to take action and it seems like we’re taking more action than them.

Junior and OFA member Callie Nichols said the misfortune of the Uvalde shooting demonstrates the dangers that guns give rise to in the face of politicians’ inadequate actions. For Nichols, the current policy stance on second amendment rights fails to protect what really matters: lives. 

“These kids were killed for no reason and they were literally as young as 5 years old and they had an entire life to live,” Nichols said. “But, they didn’t get to because of a teenager who had a gun, but shouldn’t. No one’s safe, no matter how old or young you are. Anybody could be the next victim.”

Those interested in learning more about Opt For Action can join their Remind by texting @bhsopt to 81010. To show support for the victims in Uvalde, visit: Fundraiser by Victims First: Texas Elementary School Shooting Victims Fund.