August 2019. There's been another mass shooting in the U.S. Not just one, but two. At a shopping center in El Paso, Texas, a white supremacist opened fire, killing 20 people. The youngest victim wasn't even a year old. Then, not even 24 hours later, in Dayton, Ohio, another shooter killed nine people in a bar. One of them being his sister.
The sad thing is, no one in America is surprised by these heinous attacks. It's just another day in the U.S. If you get on social media though, and make it through all the "thoughts and prayers", you'll find people having discussions. Everyone sharing their fear of going somewhere where there will be large crowds. This isn't social anxiety, this is anxiety caused by the fact that we may not make it home that night. Every time I go out somewhere, I make a mental note of all the exits, where a good place to hide would be, is there a clear path to run just in case. When I'm sitting in class, I sit close enough to the door that I can quickly exit, but not so close that I'm one of the first victims.
At this point, we all fear going to church, grocery stores, movie theaters, bars, and even school. I've heard multiple parents say that their kids came home from school with stories of active shooter drills. These drills aren't like the ones I experienced in school, either. When I was in school, the receptionist would get on the intercom giving us the signal that an active shooter was in the building. We would all go hide under the windows where we could not be seen, while our teacher covered the windows on the doors. We all would stay silent for what felt like an eternity waiting for the drill to be over. Kids today have to literally PLAY DEAD. They have to be trained to play dead so they have a better chance at surviving WHEN their school falls under attack. Not if, when.
We should not ever have to prepare for these scenarios. The people we've elected to make laws that will protect us need to get it together and figure out a way to keep the citizens of America safe. Innocent people, including children are dying. Thoughts and prayers aren't enough. They never will be.
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