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School Shooting Survivor: How I Stopped Being Afraid

Image processed by CodeCarvings Piczard ### FREE Community Edition ### on 2015-10-09 06:34:08Z | |

Last week, a shooter attacked a classroom at a community college in southern Oregon. In the aftermath, the media recounted incidents of gun violence through the decades. We thought back to the mass killings at a church in Charleston, South Carolina; a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado; a Sikh temple in Wisconsin; and a military installation in Texas. Then, of course, we thought about the horrific school shootings in particular, massacres at Virginia Tech, Columbine High School, and Sandy Hook Elementary.

Some believe we’re becoming numb to these attacks as they continue to occur, but for others, it feels like the opposite: We seem to have more reason to be afraid of our world than ever. The news immediately triggered familiar fears for me, because I am a survivor of a school shooting.

When I was in eighth grade, I witnessed a fellow classmate—a neighbor I had known for years—shoot and kill my teacher with a rifle. For 10 long years after, I waited for God to make the world a safe place. During that decade, I begged God for protection but held on to him in a fragile way, worried that he would let my world implode again without warning.

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