How can I feel okay about this…

I’ve had many people tell me my passionate nature gets in the way of things. If it does, you can kiss my peach emoji.

Let me lead with this: I was born an raised in the GREAT states of Texas, where personally, my family friends had guns (but my immediate family never did), and it was a happy life. My mom later informed me that when she planned playdates for me and my brother as kids “my family doesn’t have guns lying around” was always an expectation she set up front.

Where did guns become the norm? - not trying to be an a$$hole, I’m just honestly asking YOU?

I’ve held medals in shooting rifles since I was 11 (I’m now 25), but I honestly find them SO dangerous. I hate when my friends talk about hunting, dear meat sausage, plucking turkey feathers- it’s all the same to me: guns = death.

A story I never told my mom, but I called the Austin Police Department Wednesday morning 12/02 because I saw a guy while I was running that had his hands down his pants (it’s something you notice when riding the NYC subway.) And it didn’t draw my attention, until I saw the square silver and black object poking out of his pants, I thought it was a gun.

I did not bring this to my friend’s attention, because sometimes drawing attention to danger can result in worse consequences, but it did happen to be the same day as the San Bernadino shootings, I would later find.

I remember thinking as I called the non-emergency police department that day 15 minutes after my run — “ I hope no one gets hurt because of this.” Little did I know that my non-emergency plea wasn’t going to help anyone in San Bernardino.

But I think I still want to ask why. How, could this happen after all the tradegy in the past year, even three years since Sandy Hook? After all the work, we (MOST of us have put in)? Why?

So this is what I ask:

1.) Don’t pretend to be a gun control expert — I grew up in a place where we had family friends that shot and plucked their own turkey or deer. I don’t think you should ever lose your right to do so, but I don’t think you should ever lose the ability to see the side of the story where accidents happen or someone needs counsel.

2.) Should you report suspicious behaviors like civilians carrying guns in public for oddly personal reasons — yes, more than just yourself is in danger if you don’t. This is what Austin police told me this week. No innocent runners get to die because I am lazy (or you).

3.) Understand that with great power, comes great responsibility — If you have a license for a firearm, you should and deserve to be vetted. You need to prove that you can handle the mental and physical repercussions of discharging a firearm. (I would hope that we could ask both spiderman and ironman if confirmation is needed,) But even more than that, we are the definition of freedom and democracy. If we gun each other down, what are we teaching our children to value,?… and how are we teaching them to live?

I will protect your right you bear arms, but you have to earn it by protecting OUR brother’s and sister’s rights to life.