I’m a 17-year-old high school student living in Utah, and the number of stomachs a cow possesses is more shocking to me than the shootings that occur within this country. Isn’t that sad? Shouldn’t we ask why or how it is that this could’ve happened?

Instead, we turn our heads as if we’re passing an unfamiliar face on the street. Shootings these days seem as common as the sun rising in the morning and setting at night. My parents fled their homelands and looked to America as a beacon of light and safe passage when they were even younger than I am now. They looked upon this country’s ideals as it welcomed them in with open arms as if to say, “You’re safe now.”

The lack of gun control within our country has resulted in an unnecessarily high and tragic number of mass killings by guns. Every year I’m taught a new procedure as to how I’m supposed to react to a shooting if one occurs; I should be spending that time being the teenager that I am. Our country needs to find its way back to the ideals it was built on and be the safety net it so beautifully was.

Michael Delgado, Salt Lake City