The first thing I do when I walk in a room is scan for the quickest exit. Debate what I could crouch my body under as a shield. Chose who around me would be worth giving my life for.
These are the initial thoughts of someone who has grown up amidst a “mass shooting epidemic.” I often find myself and those around me describing these shootings as “not a bad one” or “could have been worse”. I live in a time where a gunman killing two people “isn’t that bad,” two people who more than likely are somone’s mom, dad, uncle, aunt, sister, brother, and a dozen other things. I don’t mean this in an unsympathetic way. I am just one of many in my generation who is numb to these tragedies because mass shootings have filled the news for the majority of my life.
With the path we’re heading down I will teach my children the proper protocol in a mass shooting before they learn the alphabet. The lesson of using their backpack as a shield will come before their first bike ride. The lesson of crouching their bodies in cupboards, under the desk, in closets, before the bunny ear method of shoe tieing. I pray for my children’s children because, by their time, nursery rhymes and fairy tales will have an underlying of what to do in a mass shooting.
No matter your gun control beliefs, political party, religion, race or gender, this is not the way it is supposed to be. So as someone who has grown up among a “mass shooting epidemic,” please do something. Because what will happen the day I walk in a room, and all those plans I have are not enough in the end.