Rep. Maxwell Frost sits down with UNLV shooting survivors

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Rep. Frost discusses gun violence issues with UNLV students at Cambridge Community Center, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. (Las Vegas Review Journal/K.M. Cannon)

U.S. Representative Maxwell Frost (D-FL) visited Las Vegas on Tuesday morning to host a roundtable with UNLV students and advocate for gun violence awareness. Frost is the first Gen-Z congressman elected into the U.S. House of Representatives.

Frost met with UNLV shooting survivors at the Cambridge Community Center to discuss effective policies on gun safety laws. As an organizer for March for Our Lives, the roundtable was hosted by the Biden-Harris campaign, ahead of early voting in the Nevada presidential primary. During the event, Frost maintained the Biden administration’s work on preventing gun violence and the stakes present during the upcoming presidential election. 

“Our generation has grown up post-Columbine and have to experience school shootings drills at least twice a semester,” said Carolyn Salvador Avila, UNLV psychology student and president of the College Democrats of America. “We’ve grown up in a society where we’ve become desensitized to it [shootings]. We’ve experienced growing up with this as if it’s normal because of how often it happens.”

Salvador Avila spoke at the roundtable event, alongside five other UNLV students like Taylor Cummings, Millan “Mack” Gledhill and Ketzia Jimenez. Across all students, each shared a different perspective and story from the events of that day. Salvador Avila, similar to her peers, expressed the need for preventive measures against gun violence and, implicitly, mass shootings. 

“At the end of the day, young people, regardless of their political ideologies, are extremely important to keep involved in government, whether they’re holding elected office or parking in legislative affairs. Making sure they’re involved and mobilizing more students to vote and elect people who understand what they’ve [young people] have gone through,” Salvador Avila explained.

“The thing about gun violence is it’s the symptom of many other issues,” Frost said. “We need to create a world and a country where people don’t feel the need to use a gun to solve their problems in the first place.” 

Frost successfully introduced a bill during the 2023 congressional cycle to create a new federal office tasked with gun violence prevention. The office functions as an emergency management agency to aid local governments with post-shooting recovery. 

Gledhill, a UNLV political science and film student, expressed his distaste with the current state of policy. “I don’t need somebody to save me. I need politicians to work for me, not against me. As young people, I think it is our obligation to take charge on this issue and demand change, not ask for it.” Gledhill said that both the UNLV shooting and past shootings have incentivized action on the topic, and it is the duty of young people to act on effective change.

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