I was 8 years old, asleep in the top bunk of my bed, when I heard guys yelling outside my house. Then pop pop pop and a bullet came smashing through my window.
After that night I started sleeping on the bottom bunk, but that wasn’t the only change.
I stopped playing outside like I used to. At home, instead of doing fire drills, I had my little sisters practice what to do if there was another shooting. I told them to find a place to hide, like under a bed.
But this 4th of July made me wonder how often my little sister thinks about gun violence, and whether there’s any way to prepare for it. When firecrackers went off, she ran under the bed and laid on the floor.
It took me right back to when the bullet came through my window as a kid. Seeing the fear on my sister’s face reminded me just as scared I was that night.
Now I wonder whether or not it’s foolish to think there’s any way to prepare for the terror of guns.