Whether you’re in a movie theater, nightclub or enjoying a concert, you’re attending for one reason – entertainment.
Whether you’re sitting in an elementary school, high school or college classroom, you’re sitting there for one reason – education.
Whether you’re kneeling in a church, temple or mosque, you’re kneeling there for one reason – faith.
So why are these simple reasons to step out the front door reason enough to lose beloved lives to deranged gunmen?
Well, they’re not.
It’s time to cut the “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” rhetoric, and acknowledge the fact that gun violence and mass shootings are becoming widely accepted tragedies, only resolved by “thoughts and prayers”-themed hashtags and photo filters.
Imagine buying tickets for your favorite artist’s upcoming concert.
The excitement is uncontainable and more likely than not, you’ve been preparing for weeks – you’ve already worn out your Spotify playlist, and your favorite outfit has been on the hanger ready to go.
Imagine waking up for school in the morning.
Half-asleep and groggy, you prepare for yet another day of classes. You kiss your mom goodbye, grab your backpack and shout, “See you later, Ma!” as you head out the door. You start your day hopeful.
Imagine you’re praying.
In your place of worship, you are kneeling in position as you pray.
Now imagine the horror that flushes away every ounce of excitement, hope or faith as a gunman opens fire in any one of these settings, leaving you, and those around you, fleeing for your lives.
This was the reality for the 12 people killed in the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado in 2012.
For the 28 killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012.
For the 48 killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida in 2016.
For the 59 killed in the Las Vegas shooting in Nevada this year.
For the 26 killed in a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas this month.
These are just a few of the many mass shootings that come to mind. They occur so often these days, it’s hard to keep track.
But we have to keep track.
Gun violence in the United States is rapidly increasing, and it’s extremely disheartening to know that our government is unwilling to act when it comes to the protecting U.S. citizens from other citizens.
It’s time for Americans to begin caring more about the lives of fellow citizens, rather than the right for average people to tote around assault rifles.
I care about protecting American rights, but not if it’s at the expense of the hundreds of lives taken by deranged American gunmen with the access to weapons and ability to openly carry.