Shooting A Gun Showed Me The Reality Of Gun Control

Shooting A Gun For The First Time In My Life Opened My Eyes To The Reality Of Gun Control

I didn't think I could do it.


Over this past weekend, I visited my boyfriend who is currently in the military. He asked me if I wanted to go to the range. This was the first I have been asked if I wanted to shoot a gun. I have been asked if I would shoot a gun, but I have never been given the opportunity.

Growing up in a so-called liberal town in the south has shaped my experiences with guns and other weapons. People had guns to go hunting. My dad and brother did not hunt when I was growing up. I think my dad had a rifle in the house growing up, but I never knew where it was. The gun was mentioned maybe once or twice, but I never really thought much about it. My mom told me she had good aim when she would go to the range in her twenties.

Guns made me a little nervous.

My thoughts on gun control prior to going to the gun range with my boyfriend was pretty nonchalant. I knew that the 2nd amendment protected citizens' rights to own guns. I knew that some guns were legal and some were illegal. I knew the mass shootings were and still are happening too often and should not be happening.

When we arrived at the gun range, my boyfriend's work friends were also going to be shooting and spending time together. They set up their targets. While the boys were setting up the targets and getting their ammo and gear together, my boyfriend took me aside to learn about the rifle I was going to shoot. He gave me detailed descriptions about what each part did, how it worked, what gear I had to wear, what to avoid, how to hold the rifle, and what to expect.

I did not know there were so many small, small movements and details that you have to pay attention to while shooting a gun. I always assumed you loaded the gun, aimed, and pulled the trigger. I was ready and pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. My boyfriend did not load it. He had me thinking I had a loaded gun, and to take it seriously. I did. I was now actually ready to fire this gun. He loaded it, I followed his instructions and I shot. There was a loud bang and the smell of burnt was the first thing I noticed.

Next was the pistol. I'll cut to the chase, I didn't like it. There was a kickback, my arms were not prepared for it. I walked away and had to sit down.

I then watched my boyfriend and his friends talk for a long time about what drills they wanted to practice. They talked and talked. They practiced without loaded guns. They kept practicing. They ran through what parts they weren't doing properly or safely. They gave each other feedback. They were encouraging. They were working as a team and kept everyone safe.

I was surrounded by weapons that could kill any living thing, and I wasn't scared. I trusted the people I was around. They were safe. If there was someone to not trust there, it was me. I was the uneducated, inexperienced, and dangerous one.

My views on gun control now have changed a little bit.

I still know the 2nd amendment protects citizens' rights to own guns. I know some guns are legal and others are illegal. I am still aware that mass shootings happened and are still happening and they need to stop. Now I think more people should be educated about how guns operate. I think it's your decision if you want to not be around guns or if you want to experience them. Guns still make me nervous, but only because I know so little about them.

Take weapons, like guns, seriously. These aren't toys. The power that is placed in your hands because of a gun, is shocking.

I want to learn more so if I am, God forbid, I am in a situation where I need to unload a gun in the hands of a harmful person or protect myself I know what to do.

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10 Deadliest School Shootings in U.S. History

These are ten of the most savage attacks on American innocence.

School shootings in America trace back as early as the Settlers and Indians .

Over the years, attacks on schools have gotten progressively more brutal, senseless and deadly. Motives behind such occurrences are often blamed on social cliques and bullying or the perpetrators often suffer from mental illnesses or addiction.

Here are the 10 deadliest school shootings in American history:

10. West Nickel Mines Shooting

On October 2, 2006, milk-tank truck driver Charles Carl Roberts opened fire on a small Amish schoolhouse in Bart Township, Pennsylvania. Prior to going to the school, Roberts left a suicide note at home for his wife and children.

Roberts entered the one-room schoolhouse and ordered all the boys to leave, as well as one pregnant woman and three parents with infants. He ordered the remaining ten girls against the wall and held them hostage.

Sisters Mariah and Barbara Fisher, ages 13 and 11, courageously asked to be shot first in exchange for the lives of the other young girls; some were as young as six years old. Roberts killed Mariah and wounded Barbara. In addition, he shot eight out of the 10 girls, killing five of them.

9. Oikos University Shooting

43-year-old One L. Goh committed Oakland, California's deadliest mass killing on April 2, 2012, at the Korean Christian college Oikos University. Witnesses testify Goh stood up in his nursing class and ordered everyone against the wall at gun point.

One student recalls him yelling, "Get in line..I'm going to kill you all!" before firing. He killed seven people and wounded three others.

8. California State Fullerton Massacre

Custodian Edward Charles Allaway was reported as going "postal" on July 12, 1976 at California State University in Fullerton, California. The 37-year-old employee of the institute had a history of violence and mental illness, and was later diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic.

He was found insane by the judge of his trial for the murders. He called the police after killing seven people and wounding two others, and turned himself in. His motives behind the mass murder included him believing the university library was screening pornographic movies his wife was forced to appear in.

He is currently receiving medical treatment for his condition at the Patton State Hospital.

7. Red Lake Shootings

The Red Lake Indian Reservation in Red Lake, Minnesota will never quite be the same after events which occurred at the senior high school on March 21, 2005.

16-year-old Jeffrey Weise killed his grandfather (a tribal police officer) and his girlfriend. He then robbed his grandfather of police weapons and bullet proof vest, before ultimately driving to Red Lake Senior High School where he killed seven people and wounded five others.

Weise took a total of 10 lives that day, including himself. He committed suicide in a classroom after exchanging fire with police.

Witnesses reported Weise smiled while shooting his victims and questioned multiple students about their faith before firing.

6. Umpqua Community College Shooting

On October 1, 2015, 26-year-old Christopher Harper-Mercer committed the deadliest mass shooting in Oregon history. He killed nine people and injured seven others at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.

He spared one person in the classroom he opened fire in, only to deliver a message to the police for him. Mercer was described as "hate filled" by those who knew him. In addition, he identified himself as a White Supremacist, anti religious and suffered from long term mental health issues.

Some theories behind the mass shooting were Mercer falling below a C average, putting him at risk for suspension, as well as him not being able to pay the tuition bill due.

He ultimately committed suicide after the attack.

5. Enoch Brown School Massacre

The Enoch Brown School Massacre is one of the first documented school shootings in U.S. history. On July 26, 1794, four Lenape Indians entered a Settler's schoolhouse in Delaware where they massacred school master Enoch Brown and nine children; they were shot and scalped.

Two children survived the attack and four others were kidnapped and taken as prisoners. This event is considered one of the most notorious incidents of the Pontiac War.

4. Columbine High School Massacre

High school seniors Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, may have not committed the deadliest school shooting in the U.S., but their killing spree at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado is considered one of the most infamous attacks in history.

It sparked numerous debates, including gun control, anti-depressant drugs and the influence social cliques, violent video games and bullying have on the mental health of high school students.

Harris and Klebold spent countless hours preparing for the events on April 20, 1999, which were documented in their "Basement Tapes." The tapes contained footage of the two boys having target practice with illegally obtained firearms, as well as a suicide message and apology to their parents.

Their ultimate goal was to be responsible for more victims than the Oklahoma City bombing, an event the boys idolized. The morning of the shootings, Harris and Klebold encountered one of their few friends Brooks Brown in the school parking lot.

Brown was one of the few students the shooters considered a friend; they told him to leave campus immediately because "something bad was about to happen."

Reports claim the boys targeted jocks, taunted people for their belief in Christianity and made jokes with each other while they killed their peers. Harris and Klebold took the lives of 13 people and injured 24.

They committed suicide in the library together.

3. UT Tower Shooting

On August 1, 1966, former Marine sharp-shooter Charles Whitman unleashed havoc on the campus of University of Texas in Austin, Texas.

Whitman positioned himself on the observation deck at the very top of the U.T. Tower; it was the perfect place for a sniper to have his pick of targets, considering you could see the entire campus from his vantage point.

He killed 14 people and wounded 31 others. Prior to his attack on campus, Whitman killed his wife and mother.

Post autopsy, it was theorized that Whitman's behavior might have been caused by a tumor found in his brain. Doctors and psychologists attribute the tumor to his impulsive, irrational behavior and his lack of a conscience.

This theory was supported by records of Whitman seeking professional help prior to the shooting for "overwhelming, violent impulses" he felt he couldn't control.

2. Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting

20-year-old Adam Peter Lanza is responsible for arguably the most senseless and brutal attack on a school in U.S. history.

On December 14, 2012 Lanza shook the town of Newtown, Connecticut when he attacked Sandy Hook Elementary School. Lanza killed his mother, before entering the school where he killed 26 people and inured two others; the majority of his victims were children aging from five to 10 years old.

He committed suicide upon completion of the attack. This shooting in particular confused both the media and authorities, because Lanza never offered a motive or reasoning behind the murder of his mother nor the horrendous mass slaying of innocent children.

1. Virginia Tech Massacre

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia came under attack on April 16, 2007. Senior student Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people and injured 17 more in two attacks – one in a co-ed dormitory, the other in the Engineering, Science and Mechanics building.

He is noted as committing the deadliest attack on a school in U.S. history.

Cho was previously diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder; among the tapes he personally mailed to NBC news, Cho expressed his hatred for the wealthy, compared himself to Jesus Christ and explained that he was forced to commit the mass shooting due to voices in his head.

Virginia Tech has held the number one spot as deadliest school shooting for five years.

Holocaust survivor Liviu Librescu was a professor in the Engineering, Science and Mechanics department at the school, who was famously remembered for using his body as a barricade against the door during the attack; Librescu was killed during the attack but managed to hold the door closed long enough for all of his students to escape out the window.

Cho ultimately committed suicide following the shooting.

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Guns Are More Important Than Children’s Lives, Change My Mind

In America, there is nothing more important than our guns.


Except for the fact that you know, they really aren't.

When did guns become more important than our children? Was it around the same time we decided we value oil over humanity? Or maybe it was when we said that repairing our environment was less important than securing our military power. Oh wait, I know, maybe it was when we decided to turn our government into the world's most horrifying reality show!

Really though, I'm not sure when it happened but it's the saddest truth. A truth many of us can no longer bare.

If you heard about the school shooting in Colorado this past week and were surprised or shocked well I just want to know, were you really? Are you honestly still surprised when we've done nothing to improve the safety of our schools, places of worship and basically any other public place you can think of?

I used to be scared to walk alone at night, but now I'm growing scared of simply walking outside.

When I heard the news of what happened in Denver, just miles from the school that put such utter violence on the map, I hardly even cried. Not because what happened wasn't tragic, but because a numbness has grown inside of me. And to be rather honest, I'm quite afraid it's grown inside us all. This overwhelming feeling of a complete lack of control. Our marches do nothing, our words do even less. How can we solve a problem when half the population isn't interested in a solution?

Instead of lobbying for change, we've resigned ourselves to sending our thoughts and prayers. For politicians, all they have to do to feel satiated is compose a tweet calling for regulations and call it a day. News outlets cover these tragedies for ratings but never feel compelled to ask the hard questions, like when do we say enough is enough?

We talk about arming teachers and preparing kids to fight for their lives. How can it be that these are really our most effective solutions?

It has been 20 years since the massacre at Columbine and still, nothing has changed. In 2018 there were 323 mass shootings. That means we only went 42 days without one. In 2019, we're on track to have even higher numbers than that. I'd like to ask legislators this: How will the children of the nation shape the future of our nation from body bags?

This question is now larger than simply guns or no guns. It is a question of morality. When we look back at this point in history will we really be satisfied that those in power made the right choices? I can't help but think that we will look back on this and feel nothing but shame.

I want to call on you to be the change you want to see, but I've grown weary in believing that will ever be enough. So instead ask yourself this: What matters more to you, guns or life?

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