We have to be the change

By EMILY JACKSON,

This weekend as I dealt with my small problems and tried to straighten out the kink in my life that has held me up for a while reports came in of multiple mass shootings across social media. Incidents states away from each other yet fueled by evil. While listening to these reports I was hit with a devastating statistic there have been 251 mass shootings within the 216 days of 2019. Two hundred fifty-one acts of evil here in America just this year.

The number was surprising to me.  We occasionally hear reports of mass shootings and those blow our minds and we feel they come around too often, but there are hundreds of mass shootings that are not covered by media outlets and no one hears about them on social media either.

Mass shootings are defined as a shooting in which four or more people selected indiscriminately, not including the perpetrator, are killed. With multiple incidents happening over one weekend we are grabbed by the heart and forced to face the evil within our society. We are advised to make plans with our family for what we would do in case of a mass shooting, where we would meet if we got separated, and how we would face the shooter individually.

This is America, we should not have to live in fear of going to public places, but we do. I should not have to look for available exits as I walk in the store, storing those exits in the back of my mind just in case they are needed. I should not have to conceal carry my pistol to feel safe.

I always wonder how I would face one of these incidents if it happened to me. I pray it never does, but I refuse to be just a victim. I might lose my life, but it will not be while I am begging on the floor in a crying mess. After an incident earlier in the year where we had to deal with a home intruder in broad daylight, I bought a concealed carry pistol. I have heard people say that you can’t speak on what you would do and maybe I can’t, but when we faced that intruder, I shut my nieces and nephews in their room and I went back to face him without a weapon. I did not know his intentions, was unsure if he was armed or not, but I refused to be a victim. I refused to let this man get close to those babies and I would not give the satisfaction of him watching me cry in a heap on the floor begging him to leave.

The motives for these shootings are never clear to me. I wonder if they get satisfaction from the idea of fame. Maybe they have been unnoticed so long by peers, family, and coworkers that they believe this is the only way to get attention. I wonder what they suffered through to make them so evil. Did they suffer through unimaginable abuse growing up? Maybe it is just a sick fantasy in a screwed up narcissistic mind. 

No matter the reason we have to face the truths. It is not legal gunowners causing this issue. President Trump did not call for this attack on Americans. We are in a moral crisis. Children are suffering coming second to the cell phone in their parents’ hand. We are not instilling values and moral responsibility in our youth. We have got to take mental illness seriously and work to combat the causes within our nation. Until we fix the problems within our own homes and communities these events will, unfortunately, keep happening.

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