Senseless Violence

After 5 weeks apart, naturally I got to reunite with my friends this past weekend and it was great, we ate terrible food, gossiped a bit and watched some football. It was all really fun, but there was a point when my friend’s roommate (who none of us are super close with) brought out a gun.

Now, before I continue, let me say this: I believe that guns don’t kill people. Crazy/misunderstood/hurt/angry people with guns kill others. 

I personally am not close friends with this roommate, we know each others names, we say hi and are cordial, we can keep a conversation going, but that’s about it. I don’t check for him, he doesn’t check for me and the world keep spinning.

One thing I do know about him is that he had been in the military and gone to Afghanistan and Liberia, in other words, homeboy has definitely seen some stuff, more than I probably will in my entire lifetime and I respect that. With a best friend in the military who is deploying, I really respect that and he’s actually given me some advice on how to deal with it all too, which I appreciate.

Anyway, when he brought out the gun, my two friends and I immediately jumped back and started freaking out. It just reminded me of my summers in Gary, IN with my grandma when you knew everyone around you was packing, but also were too afraid to ever test the theory. I was scared and in that moment I realized I don’t know this guy, I don’t know all these people that well, this could be the end

It wasn’t until at least 30 seconds to a minute later that the guy opened up the gun and showed us that it wasn’t loaded (I’d like to point out he was on his third bottle of alcohol and it wasn’t even 6 PM). This was also after another guy had pointed it at me while I was sitting next to him on the couch. I was terrified. 

It’s funny, growing up in Fishers, IN I was never afraid of getting assaulted or shot, or robbed or anything like that. That lack of concern tends to happen when you grow up in a town voted safest city 3 years in a row. But I remember my parents always instilling in me not to be so naive, to remember that crime can and will happen anywhere and I don’t think I’m paranoid about it, but I’m very much aware. 

That entire night my friend and I were jumpy, I just legitimately feared for my life in that apartment, I don’t care how crazy that sounded.

Fast forward to yesterday and the Purdue shooting, where a lot of my friends and FHS alumni attend and I’m freaking out, I’m searching their social networking accounts wondering if they were the ones who got shot, looking for answers, screaming on the inside. It became more real, it had happened on a campus in my home state, an hour or so away from my grandma’s house. It was the first time I thought, okay this could happen to me

And now it’s University of Oklahoma and the man (or woman) hasn’t been found yet. Oklahoma, Mizzou rivals, neighboring state, the state my best friend almost went away to for school, the state where so many Missouri friends have loved ones, once again it makes it more real. 

I’m worried that as a society we are becoming desensitized to these shootings. When Columbine happened, it seemed like the entire country mourned, now these things happen and people go about their day, even my friends kind of seemed to shake it off and continue talking about nothing when I texted them. But this has been bothering me since Sandy Hook, since Colorado, since those summers in Gary. Why so much senseless violence? Why aren’t we talking about this more? 

There have been 35 school shootings (now 36) in the past 13 months, how many does there need to be for it to be considered a problem? How many before we just shrug our shoulders, sip our coffee at the breakfast table and turn the channel? It concerns me and I feel like it should concern other students too.

Stop killing the people who are killing others, pick their brains, make them talk, if they killed someone else do you really think they are afraid to die? Possibly, but still. Get answers. Figure things out. Killing is not the answer, it’s not going to solve any of our problems and I just wish I felt like someone who could actually do something about it, would. 

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5 comments

  1. Maybe you can help me understand something.
    You have spent time in the presence of the RoomMate (gun owning one); you know he’s been in the Military and there for has hand to hand combat training.
    I’m guessing probably out masses you and is probably stronger; right?

    Yet, it wasn’t until a firearm was presented that you became fearful.
    I don’t understand why? Did the RoomMate suddenly become different?

    I’m not doubting you were fearful. I just don’t understand why.
    In an apartment with dozens of lethal items; knives, heavy objects, belts, probably rope or cordage (blinds, curtains, etc) — why did the presence of a firearm change things?

    1. You’re right, there are tons of things that could have been harmful in that house and I hasn’t found out all those things about him until the day of or the day before, so I think in my mind I was trying to process it all and before I really could and even begin to understand what he has gone through or been dealing with, there’s a gun being pointed at my friends and I and my automatic reaction is to be scared. I think it’s a natural reaction at least for someone like me who knows little to nothing about guns. Make sense?

      Like I said he had been drinking as well. He wasn’t angry or anything, more relaxed a little goofy, but that’s it. At the point of the firearm being presented he thought it was funny, but I don’t really understand what’s funny about pointing a gun at people you consider friends.

      1. I can understand something triggering the “OMG he could…..” idea.

        As a gun owner, I do have a major problem with someone drinking and then handling firearms. Someone who has been in the military should know better. Unfortunately, I think that is more a sign of immaturity and youth then an indictment on all gun owners if that make sense.

        I also don’t find anything funny about pointing a firearm at friends. Unfortunately, I think we have too many people who have never experienced firearms, have never been taught proper safety protocol, etc.

        I think it’s a natural reaction at least for someone like me who knows little to nothing about guns.

        I belong to a great online community; affectionately known as “gun bloggers” — If you are interested in learning about firearms and especially the proper/safe handling of firearms; I’ll be happy to help. If you aren’t in the Dallas Fort Worth area, I’ll ask around until I find someone who would be willing to meet you at a range and introduce you to firearms.
        I can not stress enough that I believe everyone should have experience with firearms; if nothing else to know how to make one safe.

      2. Yeah, I know guns aren’t bad, but it’s difficult to say there isn’t a problem when things like this happen so often.

        I’m definitely interested in learning more about guns and gun safety. I’m in mid Missouri and some of my friends and I have been looking for a shooting range for a little while now.

  2. Hi Brittany,

    Would you be willing to travel to the Kansas City area for an introduction to firearms?
    I’ve located a blogger willing to do so. If what I understand is correct, should be about 90 minutes or so from you.

    Please email me for details Bob S. @ 3boxesofbs_@_gmail_.com (remove underscores)

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