I am in desperate need of a new normal. It has only been four years since I first became acutely aware of the our nation's gun issues.
First, it was the shooting in Colorado, twelve innocent individuals dead at a movie screening. Then it hit closer to home in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, leaving six dead not including the perpetrator. And then it was Sandy Hook, the tragedy where I realized my stance on this issue.
It was in the middle of the afternoon when I was a sophomore in high school. Over the loudspeaker, they announced that there was a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. My stomach sank hearing about the 27 victims, many of which were children.
Ever since Sandy Hook, I found myself becoming desensitized to gun violence. I am no longer surprised that a toddler, middle schooler, high schooler, or grown adult somehow got their hands on a gun. Every day, I read about at least one story that has to do with someone killing someone else and I am so sick and tired of it.
The feeling in my stomach sank again when I heard about the Orlando shooting Saturday morning. Reading about the deaths of 49 people and 53 injured made me angry and fearful of the future of our country.
Gun violence is a serious problem and it's time for us to talk about it for what it is. This conversation isn't nor should be about taking guns away. That is not what I want. To me, gun control means putting on the responsible and proper restrictions on gun certain models, limiting their accessibility, and doing thorough background checks on those purchasing the guns. Most importantly, it's about the safety of our nation's people.
Protecting the people of our nation shouldn't be a political issue. As humans, we all deserve to feel safe wherever we occupy space. We shouldn't feel frightened to go to a movie theater, to school, to work, to a night club. I should not have to research or read an article about how to survive a mass shooting. Fear is not what our nation was built upon.
Gun violence has claimed far too many victims and I'm scared I might be next. I don't want to hear about another shooting. I don't want to be a victim of a shooting. I refuse to believe that our nation, our government, our people, can't do better than this. I refuse to stand still and let these violent acts continue. I want a new normal.