The last time I had witnessed a true horror, was on September 11th, 2001. I was just six years old at the time, but even back then I knew that horror had struck our country. Terrorism has never been on my mind throughout my childhood except for when September 11th comes around each year. Each year it doesn’t get easier. Each year I get chills as I hear the names being read aloud. Each year I become prouder of being a New Yorker and an American.
Then, terrorism began to rise as I entered college. One night, I was studying a quiet building with two of my friends when our phones began to light up with CNN updates. There had been a terrorist attack in Paris, France. We were horrified by what we saw on the news. A friend of mine was so upset by the event that I was unable to contact him to talk.
He said that this horrific event was too difficult to talk about. It was difficult to formulate it into words. It was the first time we had witnessed a true horror since the age of six years old and now the memories stick out even more.
We have experienced terrorist attack after terrorist attack. From Paris to London to Barcelona, and now New York. Each time, we are shocked and heartbroken. We denounce terrorism and we try to move forward. We have also experienced attacks within our own country and they were executed by Americans. In the past two years, we have experienced four domestic terrorist attacks. That is four too many domestic terrorist attacks. We can talk about international terrorist attacks and how to plan for one, but how do we plan for domestic terrorism within our own country?
I think it’s time we stand up and we speak about gun control.
I understand that it is written in our Constitution that we have the right to bear arms. However, this is only for our own defense. But what American is feeling threatened or attacked by the people who attend church, a country concert, or an elementary school? What right do they have to open fire on innocent people? We are losing innocent lives in rising amounts because we let Americans have possession of guns.
I understand that people want to feel safe in their homes. I understand that people enjoy the game of hunting. What I do not understand, though, is why our government has failed to do anything about gun control. Why aren’t we talking about it? Why aren’t our politicians talking about it?? Why are our politicians focused on lifting restrictions for gun silencers?
From what I could gather, they would rather serve the Americans who believe in carrying weapons, then protect the rest of the country.
We’ve almost become numb to these domestic attacks. Our president tweets about a “horrific attack” and yet he tweets about increasing gun control. He is too focused on international terrorism to look at our own country’s domestic terrorism.
I am disappointed, to say the least.
Today in our living room, my roommates and I received CNN updates about the newest attack in Texas. We each looked at the update and then put our phones back down. We no longer know how to have the conversation because it has become our normal.
Domestic attacks within the United States of America have become our normal.
It’s frightening and sickening all at the same time. The only way to cope with the horror is by saying, “we cannot live our lives in fear.” It’s not enough, though. Something can be done and we can begin the momentum by talking about it.
So, here we are. 26 innocent lives were claimed today in Sutherland Springs, Texas. They ranged in ages 5 to 72. The motive behind the shooting is unclear. All we know, is that beautiful American people went to church today to pray and now we are in mourning as a country.
I feel numb and enraged at the same time. I know that another domestic act can occur at any time. This isn’t the end. So, let’s open up the discussion about gun control. How do you feel today? How does this make you feel? What are your views on this? What we can do moving forward?