July 1, 2022

SMH

Santa Maria History

Sabika Sheikh: How a Pakistani Exchange Student Lost Her Life to Gun Violence

In 2017, a 17-yr-aged trade pupil — Sabika Sheikh — from Pakistan landed in Texas for the American significant school knowledge.

9 months afterwards, on the early morning of May possibly 18, 2018, she posted a photograph of an plane on her social media, captioned ‘How quite a few days until eventually June 5? Its 19 days’. She was scheduled to return house 19 times afterwards, with plenty of stories from the time she invested in your place.

That similar day, she was shot dead.

She was murdered with 9 individuals within her artwork course at Santa Fe Large School, hundreds of miles absent from her dwelling and her people today.

I am her cousin.

I was a Fulbright trade scholar in The united states then and returned with Sabika’s human body to Pakistan. When I came back again one particular last time for my final graduate 12 months, my only intent was to get a gun basic safety bill launched in her name in the United States Congress.

In 2019, right in advance of my closing departure from your place, I stood inside the U.S. Capitol as that monthly bill was launched.

HR 127, the Sabika Sheikh Firearm Licensing and Registration Act, prescribes a in depth licensing technique for gun and ammunition ownership. It involves that a human being have to be at the very least 21 decades aged and undergo a legal track record look at, psychological analysis, and elaborate teaching on the harmless use and storage of guns in buy to be certified to have a firearm. It also prohibits the sale of sure significant-ability ammunition units.

Hunting back again to that minute within the Capitol, I giggle at my naiveté. I thought that your legislators would quickly occur collectively to decisively minimize gun violence. It now baffles me how a option — among residing and receiving murdered, and among the flexibility to sense safe and the chilling horror of listening to the first gunshot at your faculty — can be so polarizing in your nation.

When a college was attacked by the Taliban in Pakistan on December 16, 2014, my country arrived with each other. This incorporated the general public, civil modern society, and politicians throughout celebration strains. Our consensus as a society was unanimous: Protecting youngsters at a put as sacred as university was not up for debate.

I have found legislators in your region fall short this exam of conscience once again and again. Do they not know that when someone you grew up with is massacred so mercilessly practically nothing can be restored?

I was the loved ones member who went to Texas to receive Sabika’s entire body and get it back to Pakistan. Each single emotion I felt throughout individuals moments at the morgue when I seemed at her chilly physique will endlessly be a haunting reminder of her brutal murder in your state. Do U.S. politicians not know that the memory of that horrifying instant never becomes distant? That it never ever leaves? That it stares at you with its hollow eyes, carrying nothing at all but gloom and dread? Are they so incapable of emotion that they can not realize the overpowering melancholy I sense every single time I textual content Sabika and wait around with a delusional hope that she will reply?