It is all over the Internet, on social media, and the center of conversation this past week due to the terrible shooting tragedy in Oregon. Guns. Should guns be banned? I am not one to get into politics on this blog and I respect all (or most opinions) but it is starting to feel like there is not a place in the US that is actually safe. As a 7 month pregnant woman, I think about these things differently now.
What will it be like for my little boy to go to elementary, middle, high school and college? Even separate from that I think about it in grocery stores, movie theaters, malls, and almost any public area. Whatever the conversation is about banning guns, focusing on mental health, making more laws about having licenses and permits, or classes and training — something has to change. I am not going to get into solutions or politics. Whatever the solution (there has to be one) that can mean that Americans can still feel free. That is what concerns me the most — the fear of going about your daily life when shootings continue to increase. How is that freedom? Whether it is a shooter that kills one person or a shooter that kills many, the act of shooting a human with a gun does not equal freedom for the innocent victims and their families.
Among quite a few organizations that are trying to raise awareness for gun conversations, I came across “Not One More.” It is an organization that shares the stories of those who have lost loved ones through gun violence. Not One More is fighting for safer communities. Who does not want that? Who does not want to feel safe and free? Regardless of our political views we should all want the same end goal. Freedom and safety for ourselves and our loved ones.
I have not been able to write about the shooting that happened in Aurora, Colorado last week. It has tormented me these past few days. How can such a thing happen? It makes me think of the Columbine shootings, the Virginia Tech shootings, and the Gabrielle Gifford shooting. Why oh why does this continue to happen? I know that in relation to what is happening in many other countries, what happens in America may seem tame. It still shocks me though. I was talking with someone that very day about going to a midnight showing of Batman that evening. We discussed how we did not want to sit for 3 hours to watch the movie.
Then I hear about what happened in Aurora. 12 people killed. It has been almost a week and I still cannot fathom what happened. What I fear is that people will stop feeling safe going to the grocery, to the post office, or the mall. We have to keep our head held high and keep going to our local establishments. We have to continue to trust that the world is good, that our neighbors are safe, and that people are sane. It is hard though. I struggle to make sense and understand what was going through the mind of the shooter. Why? Why? Why? I just am having a hard time understanding what possesses someone to do such things.
I read that the shooter was not cooperating with authorities, and that he booby-trapped his 800 square foot apartment with explosives. An apartment that was part of a building of other individuals homes. These individuals are still displaced from their homes. I also read that sales of guns have increased since the Aurora shootings. I wonder is that because more individuals want to protect themselves? Why more guns? I know that guns do not kill people, people kill people. It just concerns me that more individuals might be carrying guns in public places.
What are your thoughts? Do you feel safe these days in public places? If not, why?
My thoughts are with the family and friends of those that died in the Aurora shooting.