The recent talk about gun control across the nation has sparked an idea about diversity. It made me realize there is a large range of diversity in the experience and such with guns.
Being from Colorado, we have had quite a few memorable tragedies. Columbine was the first big school shooting and the entire nation was tuned in as more updates were being broadcast. Students and teachers were stuck in the school until late at night when first responders were finally able to get to them. This changed the way first responding teams entered school buildings in situations like these. Now schools lock their doors and typically have some type of security among the grounds. Columbine changed protocols for schools across the entire country.
More recently, the Aurora theater shooting shook the states yet again. Midnight premieres are no longer offered and costumes are usually not allowed anymore.
A lesser known event occurred the following year. There was another school shooting in Colorado at Arapahoe High School. One girl died 10 days after being shot during the incident. I remember being in a lock in because of the situation.
There is a slightly different atmosphere surrounding everyday activities in Colorado, at least where I am from. We did not have class on April 20 for many years in fear of copycat attacks. When we scrimmage at Columbine’s field dedicated to Dave Sanders, my mind can’t help but wander to him and the rest of the victims. We held a fundraiser for Claire Davis, the victim in the Arapahoe shooting. I think about her and the tragedy it was every time I put the shirt from the fundraiser on. I remember watching a movie and being paranoid the entire time, simply because it was a Batman movie in a theater near Aurora.
I’m not saying that we are the only people who have experienced terror like this, but there is definitely a difference between those who have gone through something like this and those who have not. April 20 is just another day for most students around the country, but when we began holding classes on that day again, I know I attended each one in fear. Some people have not experienced something like this, just as I have not experienced what students who attend Columbine or Arapahoe have experienced, or those who go out of their way to avoid going to their regular theater since it was attacked.
Everyone has a different experience or exposure to incidents like these, or just to guns in general. Some may have grown up in a hunting family where they are very comfortable in the presence of guns, and others may have grown up in a dangerous city where they are very fearful of guns.
All of us have our reasons for liking or disliking guns, and most of these probably stem from their experience with guns. We should all consider the reason behind their opinions rather than just noticing that they are different and dismissing them. You would want them to listen to your rationale, wouldn’t you?