In 2018, after a teen with a gun murdered 17 high schoolers in Parkland, Florida, my generation rose up. A high school junior at the time, I united with students from around St. Louis who were afraid we would be next. We demanded action from our elected representatives. However, instead of doing her job and standing up for her young constituents, Rep. Ann Wagner voted against universal background checks and continued to pocket donations from the National Rifle Association.
The majority of Americans support universal background checks, but Wagner chose to listen to her donors instead of her constituents. She gave weak, inadequate responses to the terrified students who contacted her, begging to keep guns out of our schools. We are still angry because lawmakers such as Wagner have failed us. My generation is traumatized because of corrupt, greedy and selfish politicians like her.
I am begging everyone to vote against Wagner on Nov. 3 because she will not listen to us, fight for us or protect us. My classmates and I were too young to vote in 2018, but we watched as Wagner sold our safety for political action committee donations, and we paid attention as she ignored our pleas for sensible gun reforms. Now we are about to vote in our first election, and she is going to hear loud and clear that we want new representation.