I hate roller coasters. Being thrown upside down or even just high off the ground is one of my biggest fears. The worst part of it though is the waiting. That waiting in line after my friends or family have convinced me that "it won't be that bad!" And then I stand there, frozen in fear, biting a nail till it's down to a stub. So I hate roller coasters, and I usually don't get very far into the line before deciding to sit out.


Today, I'm going to the movies with my friends for my birthday party, and it feels like I'm about to get onto a rollercoaster. I am afraid to go to the movies. I've been biting my fingernails and trying to slow down my heartbeat. You would think I'd be able to calm myself down about this by now, I mean I've lived like this my whole life. I've lived my whole life in fear. There's a really simple reason why when I get into the movie theater I'm gonna secretly slump down in my seat, ensuring that the back of my head can't become a target. That reason is guns.

Guns.

No, not a "crazy person" or a "wacko" as the NRA and President Trump like to put it. I am afraid of guns. In order to put an end to the shootings that have become everyday news in America, I agree that it is important that we look to effective ways to help the mentally ill. That being said, we can not stop there.

You’ve heard it before, that “ the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Well, I think it’s fair to say that that “good guy with a gun” is much less needed when that “bad guy” isn’t even given a gun in the first place. Someone with a mental health issue might still hurt people, but imagine if we had stronger restrictions and laws. The shooters in all of those situations you keep hearing about would not have killed nearly as many people with a knife.

We don’t want to take all guns away from everyone, but there is no reason that a civilian should be able to so easily buy an assault rifle. Australia, for example, had one mass shooting in 1999, enacted strict gun control, and they haven’t had a shooting since.

Money is what our politicians want, and it’s starting to seem like that’s about all they care about. So, to the “people in power” who would rather be rich than see me grow up and raise a family, I beg of you, to care. Care about the first grader who is afraid to go to school and learn how to tell time. Care about the mothers and fathers who have had their children ripped away from them, just so that you could make some extra bucks. Care about the 17-year old girl who hides her head in the movie theater.

We’re done being silent. We’re done being shut down and belittled. We are your next generation of voters, and you better believe there’s gonna be some changes around here.