At a code red full lockdown drill.

At the young age of 7 years old, I became aware of the tragedyof gun violence. I remember my parents explaining to my brother and I that ourbabysitter, Britney, wouldn’t be able to babysit us as there had been ashooting at her university and she was a bit shaken up. She attended VirginiaTech. In my 13 years of living in the United States, there were 22 mass shootings,5 of which occurred in states that I lived in. Clearly the lack of strong gun regulation invites people topurchase and carry guns without the need to. Thirty-nine percent of Americanhomes say they own at least one gun, that’s only slightly under the forty-fourpercent that own dogs! That means there is a similar percentage of peoplewalking with a gun in their pocket as there is walking their pet dogs, scary,right?We’ve probably all experienced a fair few fire alarm drillsin our lives, however in my 5 years of living in England and all of my friends18 years of living here, none of us have experienced what I used to do threetimes a year in America, a code red full lockdown drill.

I don’t know aboutyou, but being crammed into a dark storage closet, with 15 other people, whilstvery lard intruder alarms are going off is not something I find pleasant. The thing is, you’d be stupid not to do a code red practicewhen 7 out of 10 shootings take place in schools and businesses, and when someof the most infamous mass shootings have occurred in schools, Sandy Hook, Columbineand Virginia Tech. WhenI lived in the states, I lived in the seemingly safe town of New Canaan,Connecticut, less than half an hour from Newtown, Connecticut, where the SandyHook elementary school shooting took place. My friends and I were in town, atour favourite restaurant “Chicken Joe’s”, just laughing and talking, whensuddenly we were all being shushed and the TV volume was increased.

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