*Tomorrow, students across the nation with walk out of their classes, to make a stand against gun violence, and to petition for safer schools. These are my thoughts.*
I am petrified.
Never before have I ever felt a fear like this.
I’m terrified that a mass shooting will happen again, but this time, in an area near me.
And I am scared to my core thinking that I won’t be able to protect myself against someone with the intent to kill.
I am getting ready to purchase mace,
and I’m looking into taking kick boxing classes. I’ve found myself figuring out ways to barricade my dorm room, if a gunman were to get onto my campus.
I’m scared of being in a situation like this, but more than anything, I am terrified of looking death in the face and feeling helpless.
I want to fight for my life, and if I’m ever in a situation where I need to protect myself and others, I don’t want to cower in fear hoping the gun isn’t pointed at me.
But I’m not just afraid because of this. I’m afraid because hands and mace are no comparable match against guns. And I’m terrified the equal match to a gun, another gun, is going to be taken away.
I’m terrified that, when I move out, I won’t be able to have a handgun to protect myself, if someone with evil intentions invades my space. I’m terrified that my boyfriend, who is looking to get his concealed carry permit, will no longer be able to do so, and will be in a situation where he can’t protect himself and others.
I’m terrified that this conversation about guns is being propelled by emotions, and not logic. I’m terrified that the voices loudly clamoring for safer schools are making our students sitting ducks. And I’m terrified that people who have no experience with guns are the ones demanding more restrictions.
I recognize and deeply appreciate the incredible constitutional right to voice my opinion, and for groups to peacefully gather. The powerful ability to organize a movement and stimulate change, and the importance of remembering those lost in Parklnd, is not lost on me.
How many of the students walking out of their school buildings or off their college campuses, recognize the target they are making of themselves, when no longer under the protection of staff? How many teachers, who are refusing to have a gun in the classroom, are forgetting they have a duty of care over their students? How many people have forgotten that rules, laws, regulations, and signs do not stop individuals from making choices?
~I work at a company where I care for, and provide residential aid to, adults with disabilities. While on the clock and in the home, I cannot carry a gun. But I have a duty of care over the residents I work with. In an unfortunate situation where an armed person with evil intentions enters the house, what am I to do? What if the residents, my coworkers, and I are out in the community when a shooting happens? Am I only to protect my residents with my body while waiting for the authorities, or do I risk my life to save theirs, facing the perpetrator with a gun?
Do I agree with some of the points of the movement? Yes. I agree with the notion that a person prohibited from buying a gun in one state, should not be able to purchase a gun in another state. Gun laws should be like driver lisences; equal, recognized, and respected no matter the state.
And though a few good things may come of this walkout and conversation, I am terrified that our nation has flipped on it’s head the meaning of protection and safety. How do we legally defend ourselves, in a situation where illegal measures where taken? How do we protect ourselves from people who have acquired guns illegally?
I have this fear that people don’t recognize that “This is a gun free zone” isn’t protection; it’s an invitation.