It was a late night, and I was doing my homework with full intention of walking to the library later. Suddenly, I got a news update on my phone — there was a shooter at Florida State University, right outside of the library.
My first instinct was to call up every friend I had who went to FSU and make sure everyone was all right. Heart pounding, I put myself in the shoes of the students in the library at that time. Most of these students were probably getting a head start on finals, looking for a good book or maybe just looking for some peace and quiet. After all, I was packing my bags for somewhere quiet to get a head start on my own homework. Never in a million years would these students have thought that a place where they are encouraged to take advantage of all of the scholastic resources they have available to them, would be the place that they would fear going to for months to come.
America has a gun problem. There, I just said it: America feels it can only protect itself with the one thing it fears the most, and that is a gun. The second amendment is one that is debated on and dissected every time a school shooting occurs, but we never quite come to a solution. So I propose this question: Since when is it your right to make others fear you?
There are 31,672 deaths that are direct results of gun violence every single year, according to the Washington Post. Those who fear leaving the house past sunset are neither irrational nor paranoid. If statistics don't settle this debate for you, let's put this in terms of how many more mothers, teachers, doctors, students and even children need to be impacted by this before we say enough is enough.
I'll leave you with this: This past weekend I was studying in my room once again when I got another notification that there were shots fired down the street from where I live. How much closer do these circumstances need to occur before they hit home?