I was 17 years old when gun violence changed me and my whole life. I was going back-to-school shopping for my senior year when a man decided to drive down to the mall and Walmart next to it and kill 23 people. I hid for my life, thinking these moments were my last.
My mom and I said our goodbyes, and while I do not know anyone personally who died, I cried every day for those people. He may not have killed me, but that 17 -year-old girl I was before is gone. (She’ll never come back.)
Later on I found out the reasoning behind this was that he hated Hispanics. That breaks my heart every time I think about it because I will never be able to change the fact that I am one. My life will be changed forever because of someone who decided to shoot up a store. He didn’t just hurt the people he killed and the families affected; he hurt the hundreds of other people who will suffer mentally for the rest of their lives.