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The Questions That I Have

As I grow older, I always find myself with so many questions about my future and the world. Lately, those questions have swirled around falling in love, finding my person, and starting my own family. While these are not the only goals that I hold for my future, they appear to be the most striking and the most fearful. The idea of finding the Randall Pearson to my Beth, the Derek Shepherd to my Meredith, the Tobias Eaton to my Tris, and the Jamie Fraser to my Claire- It lights me up. The idea of someone being your world. The idea of having a homemade mixture of both myself and my person and creating a mini. These are thoughts that rage my mind. These are the goals that for some reason are at the forefront of my mind despite me being only 21 years of age. But what about these goals make them fearful? I only have one answer…the world.

The world is a place of both beauty and pain, and I believe that the balance between the two makes the world precious. But over the last few years, the world has grown scarier, or for me at least. The increasingly devastating amount of natural disasters (climate change), missing women, a global pandemic, and most fearfully, mass shootings.

Gun violence is scary. According to Washington Post, “nearly 300 children were shot and killed in 2020, according to Gun Violence Archive data, a 50 percent increase from the previous year. More than 5,100 kids and teens 17 years and younger were killed or injured last year – over 1,000 more than any other year since 2014.” While anyone can fall victim to gun violence, it is incredibly more devastating when it is innocent children. The terror that parents feel at the realization of such numbers. The mind playing hypotheticals at the thought that we may one day experience that terror and heartbreak.

But on a more greater scale, mass shootings scare me tremendously. Mass shootings are defined as one with four or more people injured or killed, not including the shooter. Although the rates of mass shootings decreased during the pandemic, they never ceased. According to Washington Post, “on average, there was one mass shooting every 73 days in 2020.” The Gun Violence Archive counting more than 200 mass shootings in 2020. While the violence continues into 2021, as of mid-September of this year, there has been 21 mass murders. While the definition of mass shootings/mass murders are still under question, it is undeniably an issue.

Here is a glimpse into a few of the mass shootings that have taken place across the country throughout 2021 thus far:

  • June 15 (Chicago): Two gunmen broke into a home in the South Side of Chicago, and shot eight people, killing five.
  • May 26 (San Jose, California): Nine people were killed in a shooting at a rail yard. The gunman being a transit worker.
  • May 9 (Colorado Springs): A man killed six people at a birthday party at a mobile home park. The gunman being a boyfriend of one of the female victims.
  • April 15 (Indianapolis): At least eight people were killed after a gunman opened fire in a FedEx warehouse.
  • April 7 (Rock Hill, South Carolina): A former NFL player shot and killed a doctor, the doctor’s wife and their two grandchildren inside their home, as well as two air-conditioning technicians who were working outside the home.
  • March 31 (Orange, California): A gunman opened fire at a real estate office, killing four people, including a 9-year-old boy.
  • March 22 (Boulder, Colorado): A gunman inside a grocery store killed 10 people, including a police officer.
  • March 16 (Atlanta): 8 people, including 6 women of Asian descent, were killed at three spas.
  • February 2 (Muskogee, Oklahoma): Five children and a man were killed and a woman was seriously injured when they were shot at home.
  • January 24 (Indianapolis): Five people, including a pregnant woman, were found dead inside a home after the authorities came in contact with a juvenile male, who was suffering from gunshot wounds.
  • January 9 (Evanston): At least five people, including a 15-year-old girl, were killed in a shooting spree.

For more information about gun violence and the numbers surrounding the issue, check out the Gun Violence Archive that I have found to be informative and quite alarming.

Clearly, gun violence is an issue for several reasons, but it also is a loaded and controversial topic. People are afraid to go to the grocery store, go to work, send their kids to school, and for some, to even stay at home. This is the truth that haunts American families. This is the fear that lingers in the back of our mind endlessly. Are we supposed to live like this; in fear? Is this fear common amongst families or is gun violence and mass killings such a norm that people have grown to become immune? The truth is we live in a cruel reality that strikes fear within some of us. But one of the biggest questions that remains: What are we doing about it?

What are your thoughts? Find us (@HerCampusDePaul) on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook and share your thoughts and ideas on not only the realities of gun violence and gun control laws, but also what you think we can do to make our country a safer place.

Catrina is a junior at DePaul University, majoring in Film and Television with a concentration in Screenwriting. During her free time, she loves to watch films whether new or old, and working on her own feature film. If you want to follow her on social media, you can find her on Instagram and Twitter (@hereiscatrina).
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