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Frame of Reference
So, most of us know about the march on the capitol on Friday. For those who don't:
April 20th is the national march organized in honor of the Parkland victims. By marching, we are asking for stricter gun control laws. The other side of the argument? Pro-gun. They want anyone to be able to buy a gun and have any gun they would like. They have a point: The United States Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms. Whether or not the founding fathers had semi-automatic rifles in mind when they wrote it is up for debate. But here's the thing most pro-gun supporters don't realize: They have no frame of reference to understand how scared we are.
What do I mean?
I mean that most people who support the right to buy and possess guns have never had some of the experiences high schoolers have.
Allow me to clarify.
For us, it's not that we hate guns.
For us, it’s wondering everytime you hear the fire alarm, because we all evacuate out one door, and it’s the easy way to massacre us.
It's having the last words you'll ever say to your little brother scripted in your head, for when there's someone at the door with a gun in their hands. It's knowing that I'll be saying I love you, I'm sorry, I'm going to miss you, and then turning on the camera so that no-one is able to ignore how I was murdered in a place where I'm supposed to be safe.
It's sitting in class and watching as six different kids answer their phones. It's their younger siblings at the middle school, calling because someone is on their campus with a weapon and they're scared and they want to know that they'll be okay.
It's having your teacher look you in the eye and say that if there's a gunman at the door, we're to arm ourselves. It's knowing that when the door gives, we're to run and scream and cry and throw things. Not to save our lives, but to maximize how long it takes to kill us so the class down the hall can be saved.
It's knowing that a fifty caliber bullet can go through a wall, so even if we hide, and even if we aren't found, we're still not safe.
It's thinking what if it's the elementary school down the street? Do I stay here and live, or do I go and help? It's knowing that I have training, that I've worked with kids. Knowing that I can get there before police or ambulances, that I can help evacuate, help with first aid. It's knowing that I would place myself between a bullet and a child without a second thought.
For us, it’s being afraid to go to school every day, because there’s nothing to stop someone from shooting us up.
For us, it’s knowing that we’re sitting ducks in our classrooms.
That our little brothers and sisters might die today at school.
That we are never safe.
Many pro-gun supporters don’t have the frame of reference to understand why we're scared.
They aren't afraid.
And that? The fact that they aren't scared?
That terrifies me.