A Word About The Gilroy Shooting

Editor’s note: The following is an opinion article. The opinions presented are the writer’s own and are not representative of the Trailblazer newspaper staff or Pascack Hills High School.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to be the parents of Stephen Romero right now. A 6-year-old who just graduated kindergarten and had his entire life ahead of him.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to be the parents of Keyla Salazar right now. A 13-year-old eagerly awaiting her birthday, when she might get the golden retriever she really wanted.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to be the parents of Trevor Irby right now. A 25-year-old who just graduated from college and always spoke about living life to the fullest.

Late Sunday, July 28, these seemingly unconnected parents were brought together by an all-too-common cause: a mass shooter took three of their children’s lives at a garlic festival in Gilroy, California. The shooter’s identity deserves no publicity, for which I will give him none; it’s the names of these lives he took that ought to be remembered.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to be Mitch McConnell right now. The Senate majority leader who has been in power for so long that he has lost any sense of a moral compass — any cognizance of his moral, ethical, and constitutional obligation to pass common sense gun control. Don’t ask me why I’m singling him out — we all know he only puts forward legislation that benefits him and his friends.

If you’re asking me why I’m making this political, just 24 hours after the shooting took place, ask me again after the next shooting. And the next. And the next. I’ll have the same answer until I know that our government did something that could have demonstrably stopped this murderer from taking three innocent lives. In other words, until our corporate-beholden politicians remove their rose-colored glasses and get out of bed with the NRA.

If you’re telling me that those three innocent lives were in the wrong place at the wrong time, maybe you shouldn’t go to your local food festival. Maybe you shouldn’t go to your high school, your workplace, your favorite restaurant, your place of worship. Because that’s where these tragedies happen. They happen to innocent people, doing innocent things. They‘re not the ones at fault.

I pray for the families who lost their loved ones in Gilroy and for the families of all gun violence victims — the high schooler killed by a mass shooter, the black man killed by a white cop, or the transgender woman killed in a senseless homicide. They‘re all reminded today of the power possessed by one person who shouldn’t have a gun or shouldn’t be using one.

Y’hei sh’lama raba min sh’maya, v’chayim aleinu: May there soon be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us.