I don’t have personal experience with guns.
I know people who keep guns in their homes for their own protection and people who have been robbed at gunpoint. But I, personally, have never had to deal with a gun. What I have had experience with, however, is fear in the classroom after news of the Columbine High School shooting spread on April 20, 1999.
At the time, I was only in middle school and couldn’t imagine a bigger tragedy. Walking the hallways was never the same after that. Anyone bumping into me or walking too quickly made me jump. Sleeping was difficult as I worried about something similar happening in my own quiet community.
Although there have been many shootings since then, never did that fear as great again until the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings last December. I, with the rest of the world, grieved for the children who lost their lives. I grieved for the school personnel and brave teacher Victoria Soto, who died at the gunman’s hand protecting her students. I grieved for the families whose lives were forever changed and the community that will never truly recover.
As events unfolded and many in the nation called for stricter gun control laws, I supported President Barack Obama’s push on gun control. This bill asked for stricter background check measures for gun-buyers and was supported by nearly 90 percent of Americans—something which I thought was a no-brainer when it came to seeking the senate’s vote.
Unfortunately, the victims of every shooting, any person who has ever been robbed at gunpoint, those who were carelessly shot by someone who obtained a gun easily and without a background check, which this new bill would have required, have just been dealt a great slap in the face as Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey’s (R-PA) amendment failed 54 to 46 yesterday.
And we, as a nation, have been failed by our elected leaders.