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Gender: Male
Hometown: Pelican Bay, TX 76020
Home country: United States
Current location: home
Member since: Thu Jan 20, 2005, 02:07 PM
Number of posts: 14,042

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I have an admission and a request.

I take pictures and I write about gun violence. It's all I do. Gun violence is an anguish inducing and painful topic for me. Many have made me acutely aware of how difficult a struggle it is to reduce this carnage. I've long since given up on preventing it, I'd be happy to simply see it diminish a bit.

I watched Sandy Hook unveil on live TV with a 4 year old grandchild in my lap and two others in class a block away. I did the same with Parkland. Uvalde was on my TV in real time. I saw it all. My nephew died by gun suicide. A friend's daughter attempted the same. I've had a gun pointed at me. More than once. This is a personal thing to me and I'm not entirely rational about it.

That was the admission.

Now for the request.

For those who feel like responding to my posts with what may seem like a pragmatic outlook that nothing will ever be done, that nothing will ever change, that I should just accept it and go on with life I would ask two things; consider looking a survivor in the eyes as you compose your words. How would those comments be received by a parent of Sandy Hook or Parkland or Uvalde or one of the hundreds of other schools where shootings have ended promising lives as they just began? How would it make them feel to be told all is in vane and those deaths will never lead to anything redeeming? Choose your words carefully.

The second thing I'd ask is for you to take the advice of your mother. If you can't say something nice and supportive just STFU.

Just gonna leave this here.

The Education of X GonzŠlez After the Parkland shooting, I became an activist, a celebrity, a ďsurvivorĒ ó and the pressure almost killed me.

Iwill not tell you my triggers, or the things I can no longer enjoy, because they are fluid and changing. Sometimes I look up at a sky with no clouds and all I can think of is how that was what the sky looked like on the day of the shooting, but sometimes I just think, I wish there were clouds because itís so, so, so hot.

The strangest part of being a survivor was how badly strangers wanted to touch me, like I was a living relic. Theyíd shake my hand, or hug me, or lean on me to cry. They also wanted to tell me about the tragedies that touched them. So many voices saying how their loved ones had been gruesomely shot and killed. Iím an empathetic person, and I had no idea how to guard myself, how to turn away and toward myself. So I listened and I hugged these strangers back. Only months earlier, none of these people knew who I was. I was just a high-school kid in Parkland.

Before the shooting ó February 14, 2018, perpetrated by a 19-year-old white supremacist at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School ó my plan was to get the fuck out of Florida, the farther the better. Now, I write this from my pink childhood bedroom, having moved back home after graduating from college last year. I spend my days trying to get my future on the rails, finding new music, making zines, sewing, smoking weed, cooking, cleaning, figuring out what I want to do for work. Iím trying to be a good roommate to my parents. We watch movies together every night, making up for lost time.

Itís been almost five years since my classmates and I marched for the first time, and itís hard not to feel like things are pretty much the same. Gun violence happens every day in this country. In November, the trial that was supposed to bring closure to our community brought only disappointment after the shooter was spared the death penalty. I see my March for Our Lives compatriots at protests once or twice throughout the year. Iím still trying to figure out what type of activism I want to engage in, since I donít want to be passive for the rest of my life but I cannot exist in the way that I used to. I donít know how Iím alive after all that.


So, the new measure of PTSD and trauma in our children

isn't "Have you been through a school shooting?" but "How many school shootings have you been through?"

At what point do we as a nation become enraged? When do we act on that rage? When do we go to the polls with ONE goal in mind; to vote out the ones who perpetuate guns everywhere?


12 months

1,200 American kids killed by guns

1,200 stories about the lives they led, reported by teen journalists across the country

Fatal shootings of children have been on the rise, government data show. But as the deaths mount, the toll is bigger than what numbers can capture.

See their names.


What does that say about US?
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