There is no room in my life for bullets.
There's no room for rifles, not for handguns, not for anything that fires.
I have seen too much.
I spent my childhood afraid of bombs,
thinking of the fireballs of the World Trade Center,
of the explosions of buses on television,
the foil-wrapped bricks that lay threateningly in high school bathrooms.
I was so afraid of being blown up,
attacked by flames and gases,
that I never considered that I could be attacked by a different kind of fire.
Now, two years after my home state witnessed twenty of its youngest citizens die,
all I see is the firing of bullets,
children staring down the end of a barrel.
And seventy-four times since,
I have watched my nightmares come true
for other schools,
I watch these faces on the TV screen,
and I see mothers crying
and politicians circumnavigating.
The world needs to stop pretending
that the answer to violence is more violence.
My country needs to stop pretending
that the answer to guns is more guns.
If the answer to a bomber,
is to bomb him,
we call it a war.
If we arm teachers,
to fight armed shooters,
we cannot be sure of where the bullets will land.
What if they still land on our children?
What will be your answer then?