A lunch break blogger, just writing to hear herself talk.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Never Forgotten

Today's Blog Every Day in May Challenge topic is writing about the thing you are most afraid of. And while I have a particular distaste for lizards, swimming in open water and crossing busy streets, a fear that may be distinct to me is my overwhelming fear of guns.

Allow me to quell your fears; I'm not politically anti-gun. I'm very glad D has guns and I trust him very much with his guns. Now, I can't say that I'm against tougher background checks and other laws that make it a little HARDER to get guns (please, fellow Texans, don't come after me with pitchforks!) but I'm not advocating law-abiding citizens be stripped of their constitutional right to arm themselves.

This fear is two phase. For one, I don't like to be around someone handling a gun without the intention of firing it. Be it cleaning it, showing it to a friend, ect. An accidental discharge of the gun is my biggest fear for D's safety as a gun owner. Knowing his gun is loaded and he's about to shoot a clay, obviously he handles the gun differently than if he's cleaning it. I realize a loaded gun is significantly more dangerous than an unloaded one but in concealed carry classes, they tell you there are two types of gun owners. The type that have experienced an accidental discharge and the type that WILL experience an accidental discharge. SO SCARY, RIGHT?! You can think you've taken every precaution necessary but one oversight and it could be deadly! *sigh* I'm getting all freaked out just thinking about it.

The other side of my fear of guns is a bit more irrational but not really THAT irrational. I'm actively, on a daily basis, concerned about the idea of a gunman shooting up a public place. In my lifetime, I've seen a lot of senseless violence from mentally unstable people. And because of those stories, I lost a bit of my innocence (which is so minor compared to those who lost their lives or their loved ones). I've only been in a theater 3 times since that Aurora shooting and during my first visit to a theater after, I panicked and had to leave for 15 minutes before I got the nerve to go back in (luckily Skyfall was pretty easy to catch back up on). I spent a lot of time hiding under my dorm blankets after hearing a loud noise or a door slam, scared that a shooter was on campus and I didn't know it. When I get unsure about a public place, I identify a path of egress or a safe haven and almost always choose a seat facing the door (I didn't notice I did this until D pointed it out). Any kind of aggressive yelling in a public place will send me running. One time, after hearing a couple fighting in my apartment complex hallway in Houston, I put a bag of popcorn in the microwave and then went to change the laundry and when the popcorn started popping, it scared me so bad I was huddled in a corner of my apartment covering my head before I remembered it was just the popcorn! Hahahaha

I even have a speech prepared for a gunman like Kepner did in Grey's Anatomy (start at 5:35 on the video) when there was a gunman in the hospital. BTW, that episode of Grey's may have been one of the MAJOR reasons for my overwhelming fear of a gunman. An actual play by play of a gunman's attack made all of those stories about university shootings and mall shooting and the shooting at the summer camp in Norway in 2011 (the one I have nightmares about still, to this day) so easy to imagine. My fear is like a little bit claustrophobia mixed with a fear of crowds (enochlophobia) and a fear of being chased/followed. I don't mind crowds, and I don't mind confined spaces but together, with limited egress options, I get antsy.

I know, by living in fear, I make the effects of those gunmen MORE powerful. Their reign of terror is wider because I'm STILL scared by what they did. But... well... that's because their reign of terror IS far-reaching. It worked. I'm afraid. And I'll never forget all those who lost lives in these terrible ways. Here are just SOME of the memorials from the last 5 years. And I hope EVERYONE is safe and responsible with their guns and gun sales.

Sandy Hook Elementary - December 14th, 2012 - 28 lost lives

Virginia Tech - April 16th, 2007 - 33 lost lives

Sikh Temple of Wisconsin - April 5th, 2012 - 7 lost lives

Fort Hood - November 5th, 2009 - 13 lost lives

Aurora, Colorado Movie Theater Shooting - July 20th, 2012 - 12 lost lives

Northern Illinois University - February 14th, 2008 - 6 lost lives

Westroads Mall Shooting - December 5th, 2007 - 9 lost lives


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