The Paralyzing Fear of Gun Violence

August 9, 2023 By Beatriz

The Paralyzing Fear of Gun Violence

When I first heard the shrieks, I was in line to buy a set of pajamas at Victoria’s Secret with my nanny and godmother, Lizette. Then, suddenly, a stampede of people ran through the store.

“Get down!” someone screamed.

“We heard gunshots!” a woman yelled.

I dropped to the floor and grabbed Lizette’s hand. “¿Qué está pasando?” (“What is happening?”) I asked her. My heart was beating out of my chest.

She did not answer. We were both panicked. I wondered if the shooter was in the store.

An employee ran to a door in the back of the store. We followed her into a gray room filled with lockers and chairs. I stared at the door, waiting for someone to walk in. Was the shooter still in the mall? There was nowhere to go. Surely, if someone tried, they could get through the door. The employees listened to updates on their radios. My whole body began to shake as I processed what was going on.

Ten minutes later, the employees told us that the gates had shut in front of the store and that the police were beginning to search the mall. Relief.

Please read the rest of the original article on the Women’s Media Center.

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