Attending public events has always been a source of joy and excitement, whether it's a graduation ceremony or a music festival, but how can we enjoy these events without fearing for our lives? It’s one of the reasons I stopped attending events. The fear of mass shootings and safety risks like COVID-29 only cast a shadow over these experiences, making it even more challenging to enjoy such gatherings.
An alarming trend has emerged over the years with the use of weapons to settle disputes. Gone are the days when disagreements were resolved through peaceful means. This shift towards violence has become the "new normal," raising concerns about the future of our youth and their ability to handle conflicts. Just a few days ago a young 18-year old fell victim to gunfire along with his step-father at his high school graduation. The gunman had a long-term dispute with the young victim and open fired, killing two and injuring another relative. Such a cowardly act ruining a day that should be a joyous and happy occasion.
Growing up in Virginia, I often heard stories of schoolyard fights, but the idea of weapons being involved is deeply disheartening. We must address this issue and work towards fostering a safer environment for everyone.
While we cannot control the actions of others, we can take proactive steps to ensure our safety during public events. Here are some crucial precautions to consider:
Footwear and Mobility: Opt for comfortable footwear like flats or sneakers that allow for easy movement and quick escape if needed. Being able to run or move swiftly in the event of an emergency can significantly increase your chances of staying safe.
Stay Low: In chaotic situations, it's important to get low to the ground to minimize the risk of being hit by stray bullets or unintended friendly fire. Stay vigilant and be aware of your surroundings.
Plan Ahead: Communicate with your family before attending any large event, discuss and establish a plan with your family members. Determine a meeting location in case you get separated, as returning to your vehicle may not always be an option. Consider designating a nearby public place as your meeting point for added convenience.
In these uncertain times, it's crucial to be prepared and proactive when attending any public event. The fear of mass shootings should not deter us from embracing the joy of gatherings, but the reality is anything can happen to anyone, anywhere. So we must be prepared at all times, taking necessary precautions, and fostering open conversations about safety.
Remember, while the world may be changing, our commitment to each other's safety remains constant.