If I Die In A Mass Shooting, Here's What I Want You To Know

If I Die In A Mass Shooting, Here's What I Want You To Know

I never thought it would happen to me.


If I die in a mass shooting, here's what I want you to know.

I want you to know I don't know a time when I've been alive that there hasn't been inexplicable gun violence in our country. I grew up watching shooting after shooting on the news. I read about it. I cried over it.

But I never thought it would happen to me.

I want you to know I felt shocked when I first heard of the Virginia Tech shootings. I was 12-years-old. I didn't understand how anything that evil could have happened. 32 people were dead. I prayed. My 7th grade class signed cards to send to the families of the victims. I remember my history teacher talking about the 2nd amendment and how we have the right to bear arms. Some of the people in my class said they loved the 2nd amendment because they hunted with guns and without it, they couldn't.

But I never thought it would happen to me.

I want you to know I felt extreme grief and sadness when I saw the Sandy Hook shootings on the news. I was in high school. How could anyone shoot 20 innocent elementary students? Young, innocent humans who were only 6, 7-years-old. What could they have done to trigger the wrath of a monster so terrible, he killed them and six others? Why didn't anyone notice he was violent? I cried. I prayed. I asked God, why? And how?

But I never thought it would happen to me.

I want you to know I couldn't breathe when someone told me 49 people died in Orlando, Florida. And over 50 people were injured at Pulse Night Club. I was in college. This time, I looked at the assault rifle and the gun the shooter used. My stomach twisted. How could anyone think of slaughtering so many people? Let alone at the same time? I prayed... but it didn't feel like enough. So, I decided to research why and how someone like this could even buy a gun like this to begin with.

But I never thought it would happen to me.

I want you to know that I felt a mix of anger and pain when nearly 60 people lost their lives in Las Vegas after a gunman opened fire from his hotel room. They were at a concert. They were in Vegas. They should have had a lovely vacation and made it home safe to their loved ones. At this point, I had graduated from college. I had moved to New York City, another bustling metropolis where tourists often visited and concerts happened daily. I prayed. And then I called my Senators.

Because at this point, I realized, this could happen to me.

If I die in a mass shooting, I want you to know that I was a person who tried to put an end to mass shootings in the United States. I called my representatives. I marched in marches. I spoke out against gun violence. I explained to those who disagreed with me, I didn't want the 2nd amendment to go away. That according to our Constitution, it is our right to have guns, bear arms. All of that. I just wanted stricter gun control. I wanted background checks. I wanted to limit the guns we could own.

I could not process why anyone would oppose reasonable measures to prevent someone with the intention to kill hundreds of people from getting a firearm. Could they not see what I see?

If I die in a mass shooting, I want you to know that dying in a mass shooting was one of my biggest fears.

On days when my anxiety roared its ugliest head, I would frequently, without realizing, think of how I would escape a building in case shots started firing. I want you to know that if you look at my Google search history, you'll find phrases like "how to protect yourself during an open fire" and "how common is it to die in a mass shooting in the United States?" I want you to know that it crosses my mind, even just for a split second, every time I leave my house to go to work, the gym, my Pilates studio, or church.

So if I die in a mass shooting, I hope it's the last mass shooting there is. Although, if our country's history is any indication, I doubt it will be.

If you care about gun reform in our country, call your representatives. You can find who represents you, and their contact information here. To learn more, head to https://ceasefireusa.org/.

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.

Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.


Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Dear America, We Can Step Forward As A Country If We Stop Believing That Only One Belief Is Valid

It's time to promote unity and emphasize our commonalities because only through unity can we step forward as a country.


Dear America,

2018 was a year of political strife and conflict. The left and the right fought constantly. Republicans and Democrats blamed each other for the tiniest mistakes, and there were only a small number of successful bipartisan deals. Politicians and citizens alike seemed more concerned with sticking to party platforms, even ones they truly didn't believe in, rather than compromising with the other side to improve our society.Yet all this name-calling and hatred — what does it do in the end? What does it accomplish?

We've only seen an increased polarization of American politics and an expanded hostility towards "the other side." We don't consider the well-being of each and every person in America and the bettering of our society, or the building of a stronger world for our children and grandchildren.

We spend so much time insulting each other's political beliefs that we forget probably the most important fact that links us all together: We are all human. We all share the same basic needs, the same struggles, the same moments of happiness and sadness.

And yet we are willing to put our similarities aside and only focus on our differences. We are willing to thrust ourselves into the deep anger and loathing that comes in attacking those different from us. We are willing to parry insults behind the safety of a phone screen and forget all about what makes us alike. And we are willing to gloss over the fact that we have more similarities than differences.

SEE ALSO: Dear Trump, Thanks For Transforming Me Into A Responsible, Educated Citizen

Yes, political beliefs make a person. Political beliefs define the values, ideas and thoughts of a person. But sometimes, we have to reach over those beliefs, as hard as that may be, and focus on the bigger picture at hand. What will insulting someone because of those beliefs do? It definitely won't change their views or make them see things from your point of view.

It's sad and frustrating that this endless fighting doesn't even occur between two countries or two governments or two nation-states. Instead, we see arguments and strife between two family members, two neighbors or even two strangers, all living in the same community and under the same government, all sharing more similarities than differences.

We need to stop focusing so much on singular ideas. We need to stop believing in the close-minded idea that only one thought is the best thought. And instead of wasting energy trying to change other's opinions, we need to use that energy and time to promote unity and emphasize our commonalities.

These past few years have truly divided America. Let's make 2019 a year of unity, because only through unity can we step forward as a country.

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