By Christina Lieffring
When I’ve imagined a shooter-on-campus scenario, I never imagined finding out via text message. It was surreal, almost comical.
I was in the Regnier Center with an hour left of my last class when the lockdown started. We shut the doors and continued class. After class finished, we stayed and worked on homework. It was like a mandatory study hall.
The first hour was frightening. But no shots were fired, nothing was confirmed and I became bored and frustrated. I tweeted, “The most newsworthy thing to happen at my school, and I’m locked in a room watching it on tv and twitter.”
We were fortunate that nothing happened. I know that some people had more dramatic stories. They huddled in the dark, silently praying. No one should have to go through that, but they did. And millions more do – at shootings across the country and wars around the world. Take that moment of terror and imagine it with actual gunfire and bombs exploding. We are fortunate.
It’s been a dark few weeks in the news, with ISIS, Ebola, the crisis in Ukraine and children by the thousands fleeing to our border. It’s been 13 years since the attacks on Sept. 11. For 13 years we’ve been waging a “war on terror”. Do we feel any safer?
We (and I include myself) are driven to hysterics at the thought of gunmen, terrorists and murderers – outside forces bringing death and mayhem. But the leading non-health causes of death according to the Census Bureau are accidents and suicide. I would argue that we are terrified, but of the wrong things. Within the US, the biggest danger we should fear is ourselves.
Take a moment to be grateful for what you have and take care of your loved ones. You’ve had a taste of what others live through. Use that moment of fear to empathize with those who are less fortunate. For you, at least it’s over.