By Olivia Dudley
Thirty five, forty one, nine. That’s the number of dead and wounded at the past nine mass shootings that have occurred up to the date of February 18th*, the day I am writing this. So who knows what tomorrow will bring?
Times like this make me happy that I do not have children. I do not have to worry about someone so filled with hate waltzing into their school and shooting them. How shameful is it that school shootings have become an actual concern parents experience in America now-a-days? How many beautiful, young people am I going to see flash up on the television screen, their images appearing as bright hope gleams in their eyes. The pictures of the massacred slide by as news stations show us these young hopeful people are no longer alive because bullets pierced their bodies and drained them of all they were.
I feel like there is nothing suf- ficient that I can do to help. I can chant along with the rest to enforce stricter gun laws. I can write letters to Congress. I can even donate to fundraising sites as well; but you will never, ever, catch me sending thoughts and prayers. At this point they are a disgrace and so immensely disrespectful, I just want to scream
“Do something!” at anyone who says such a thing.
Sometimes, I find myself won- dering if other people have a plan like I do. Having been blessed with an overactive and creative imagination, I have always been planning; specifically since 2007. Ten years old and being terrified of the face of Seung-Hui Cho’s blank stare on the television, listening to a NBC news anchor give updates of the Virginia Tech shooting. I remember seeing the faces of all the victims and asking my mom “Why did he hurt all those people?” A question that she could not answer; no one could answer it then. But I remember the paranoia beginning, my school started to run drills so we would know what to do if an active shooter ever came to our school.
Wherever I go, now, I observe the area and make a plan on how to stay safe if someone decides to open fire wherever. Admittedly, I am only prepared for a max of two enemies to escape from, but that is a lengthy tangent I would prefer not to go on
right now. The point I am trying to express is that I should not feel the intense need to make a plan in the first place. No one should need to go to school, work, or anywhere else with the concern of “What if today is the day?”
I personally do not see a true solu- tion other than creating stricter gun laws, which could prevent massacres from happening. Even with those restrictions in place, I am doubtful. The people that want to commit these heinous actions will find a way to perform them because, just as de- termined as we are to survive, they are determined to kill.
How can we allow the statistics to carry on growing? Why must we sit here, patiently waiting for the next incident, the next hopeful faces being memorialized on our television screens, the next generation of PTSD sufferers, and the next set of speeches? When can we find a solution so we can live our lives without worrying someone might burst in and kill us while our name will be- come nothing more than a statistic on a Wikipedia page? I don’t know, I don’t have the answers; it seems like no one else does either. Maybe someday I can stop going on rants about gun violence, racism, and sexual harassment; but, unfortunately, that day will not be anytime soon.