When I was in high school, a classmate came to school with a semi-automatic rifle and over 1,100 rounds of ammunition. He shot 50 rounds in seconds, and was eventually tackled when he stopped to reload. He killed two students, and injured 25 more. I was there, sitting inches away from three injured classmates. I was frozen in shock, terror and disbelief. We watched paramedics wheeling out stretchers. I sat with my friend as she heard the news that her brother was killed. I relive that nightmare with every school shooting.
Over 20 years ago, I had never even heard of a school shooting. School should be a safe place. But now, our children face this reality every day. Children shouldn’t have to worry about lock-down drills and wearing bullet proof backpacks to school.
I’ve struggled with the identity of being a “survivor.” I felt like I had a dirty secret. When people asked where I was from, they’d gasp “were you there?” I was afraid to talk about it; to relive it publicly. But Moms Demand Action has provided me with support, courage and a way to harness my fears and frustrations into action. Because our children deserve better!