I am afraid of the world that I live in because I have come to the realization that when I leave my home there is no guarantee that I will not be shot and killed by someone with a military grade weapon.
I’m afraid not only for myself but also my friends, family and fellow Americans. No one deserves to be murdered.
No one deserves to be living in this kind of fear. And I know that in Washington, D.C., several elected officials confuse patriotism with relaxed policies regarding gun control. But liberalizing gun laws is not patriotism.
I want to have pride in this country. I want to feel safe in this country. But I am starting to understand that what I want isn’t even coming close to the world that I am living in.
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The mass shooting at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Fla., was a tragedy. After every tragedy we are encouraged to pray and keep victims in our thoughts, but I am tired of praying and not seeing lawmakers answer those prayers.
After every mass shooting I say the same prayer: “Lord please allow this atrocity to bring clarity to the lawmakers in the nation’s capital. Please let the lives lost carry meaning and bring change.”
Yet today I am still saying the same prayer and reaping the same results. I’m tired of the moments of silence because that is exactly what they are, silent.
I’m begging lawmakers to stop the silence and please align with other senators and representatives to finally say enough is enough. I’m not an elected official, which means that I don’t have the power to enact legislation that will save lives. But I am one of their constituents, and it is the job of lawmakers in Washington and the statehouses to protect me. I’m not asking our elected officials to do the impossible. I’m asking them to make sure that people on the terrorist watch list are unable to purchase guns.
I’m asking them to back common sense legislation that will protect me and my family from weapons that are made purely for maximum mayhem.
The ban on certain semiautomatic weapons expired in 2004 and was not renewed or replaced. Such assault-style weapons are inefficient for hunting and home protection. But their specialty lies in mass murder. There is no need for civilians of any nature to be able to purchase and own these firearms.
I may not be a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender community but I am a member of society. Lawmakers must do their part to protect everyone in the U.S.
Please give me one less thing to be afraid of.
I am a 20-year-old, female college student and I am sure that you know there is enough for me to already be afraid of. So please help me in removing death by mass shooting from of my list of everyday fears.
Two of my best friends, one a 19-year-old gay man and another a 21-year-old bisexual women, could have been in that Orlando bar. I want to be able to honestly rely on blind faith, believing that there won’t be a next a time and that my friends will be safe, too. But unfortunately I have awakened from that dream and seen reality for what it is.
Sen. Marco Rubio said the shooting was “Orlando’s turn,” but it didn’t have to be, and it never has to be Kansas City’s turn if lawmakers decide to act appropriately.
I am your constituent. I am afraid. And I am demanding action.
Allyson Ralls is a junior at Missouri State University studying political science. She graduated from Lee’s Summit West High School in 2014 and decided to pursue a major that would prepare her for law school or a career in politics.