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Emily Bowman

My life changed forever on May 23, 2014. That was the day a man decided to go on a murderous rampage through my college community. He took six lives and injured a dozen others.

I was working at a local shop in Isla Vista, California. I was coming in to my shift early when I heard the gunfire starting. It was loud and constant. People were running in all directions. I ran into my work, where one of the victims was lying in the doorway, murdered by a gunshot wound to the chest. It was terrifying. We didn’t know who was shooting or why, or if we were safe. It felt like it took a lifetime for the emergency responders, but it was too late.

The rampage lasted only a few minutes, but it has impacted me every day since. I am a survivor. I struggle from PTSD. I live in fear that my and my loved ones’ lives will be taken by gun violence because a man with a history of mental illness can legally buy guns and over 200 rounds of ammunition.

In memory of Chris, Katie, Veronika, David, George and James.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.