In 2017, a 17-calendar year-aged exchange student — Sabika Sheikh — from Pakistan landed in Texas for the American higher university expertise.
Nine months later on, on the morning of May perhaps 18, 2018, she posted a photograph of an airplane on her social media, captioned ‘How several times until eventually June 5? Its 19 days’. She was scheduled to return property 19 times later, with innumerable tales from the time she used in your nation.
That similar day, she was shot lifeless.
She was murdered with 9 people today inside her artwork class at Santa Fe Substantial Faculty, countless numbers of miles absent from her household and her individuals.
I was a Fulbright exchange scholar in The us then and returned with Sabika’s system to Pakistan. When I arrived again just one last time for my last graduate year, my only purpose was to get a gun security invoice introduced in her identify in the United States Congress.
In 2019, suitable prior to my ultimate departure from your country, I stood inside of the U.S. Capitol as that bill was launched.
HR 127, the Sabika Sheikh Firearm Licensing and Registration Act, prescribes a in depth licensing technique for gun and ammunition possession. It calls for that a person will have to be at the very least 21 years old and bear a prison history look at, psychological evaluation, and elaborate teaching on the safe use and storage of guns in buy to be accredited to have a firearm. It also prohibits the sale of specified massive-capacity ammunition devices.
Looking back again to that instant within the Capitol, I chortle at my naiveté. I thought that your legislators would promptly appear collectively to decisively lower gun violence. It now baffles me how a preference — between residing and having murdered, and among the flexibility to come to feel safe and sound and the chilling horror of hearing the 1st gunshot at your faculty — can be so polarizing in your state.
When a school was attacked by the Taliban in Pakistan on December 16, 2014, my region arrived with each other. This integrated the public, civil society, and politicians throughout get together strains. Our consensus as a society was unanimous: Guarding youngsters at a position as sacred as university was not up for debate.
I’ve seen legislators in your nation fall short this examination of conscience all over again and again. Do they not understand that at the time someone you grew up with is massacred so mercilessly almost nothing can be restored?
I was the loved ones member who went to Texas to obtain Sabika’s system and choose it again to Pakistan. Every solitary emotion I felt for the duration of individuals times at the morgue when I appeared at her chilly human body will permanently be a haunting reminder of her brutal murder in your state. Do U.S. politicians not know that the memory of that horrifying instant in no way turns into distant? That it by no means leaves? That it stares at you with its hollow eyes, carrying nothing at all but gloom and anxiety? Are they so incapable of sensation that they just can’t realize the overpowering melancholy I feel just about every time I text Sabika and wait with a delusional hope that she will reply?