The Season Four nail-biting premiere of "The Fosters" kept everyone on edge a few weeks ago (to say the very least), as the episode adressed gun violence -- something that's been a recurring issue in our country for a very long time.
Within the first few seconds, we saw Nick sitting in his car outside Anchor Beach holding a gun. Our minds immediately ran through every single possibility of what could happen next.
Once Stef and Lena realized that Nick was in the building armed, they immediately locked down the school. Everyone was able to get to safety, except for one person -- Mariana. She found herself walking the deserted halls of Anchor beach as an open target -- and no one knew where Nick was either. Whatever was about to happen in the next 30 minutes of the episode, wasn't going to be anything good.
That episode, appropriately named "Potential Energy," showed us exactly the harm that could have been unleashed in any given situation. The episode kept us on our feet as the audience waited for a bullet to go off, someone to scream, or worse, for someone to die.
All of the students knew how to prepare for a lockdown, but that's not the most frightening aspect of this. Preparing for a shooter has become part of a teen's life in today's society. Actually, preparing for a shooter has become part of everyone's life.
In an interview with "The Fosters'" executive producer, Peter Paige, discussing the issue of gun violence and what the audience should get out of the episode, Paige said, "I want the audience to be engaged with the reality of what we are asking our kids to live with. We prioritize access to guns to such a degree that we are traumatizing an entire generation of children. That's incredibly important. It was never a storyline I thought we would do. I thought it was one we would avoid and then it just became such a reality in our lives that I thought now we're just sort of falsely ignoring it."
On the second episode of the season, also appropriately named "Safe," danger hit home for the Adams-Fosters. After fleeing Anchor Beach, Nick retreated back to their house and hid somewhere with a gun. He is almost discovered quite a few times, as Stef knew that there was something or someone in the house.
During the last 10 minutes of the show, Nick managed to sneak himself into Mariana's room with a gun, and threatening to shoot himself right in front of her. Thankfully, Callie overheard someone in the room and was able to get Mariana to safety. Nick was then arrested and escorted out of the Adams-Foster home leaving everyone unharmed.
It's kind of scary to think that this can happen at any moment, to anyone, at any point in time and place.
After watching the first two episodes of "The Fosters," it came to my mind that it shouldn't take a fictional television show to tell the world that gun violence needs to be regulated.
Last year alone, there were 372 mass shootings in the U.S., killing 475 people and wounding 1,870, according to data from the Mass Shootings Tracker.
This year has also been one of the worst years for mass shootings in America. Last month, the world saw the deadliest shooting in U.S. history at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 and injuring 53 people. To make matters worse, the week following the Orlando shootings, more than 500 people were shot in America.
Gun regulation is something that the world says will happen soon, but we haven't really made any progress toward a safer world. Will it really take? Another mass shooting? Another 49 dead and 53 injured people? Will guns ever become regulated?