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  • Writer's pictureKelly Marks

Carolina Blue

Some blog posts write themselves; I just need to get out of the way. Sometimes I struggle from the first word till the last. You are probably nodding your head; you know the ones I’m talking about. This one I don’t even want to write, yet I know I need to.

At 1:45 PM on Monday afternoon, I got a text from Madi. It started off with “I’m OK.“ If you’ve gotten a text or a phone call that starts off like that, you know the other shoe is getting ready to be dropped. Something terrible always follows those two words.

Madi‘s text read, “I’m OK, but there is an active shooter on campus.“ Even though I read and understood the “I’m OK “part, my heart stopped beating for a second, and my blood ran cold.

She went on to explain that she was locked in a classroom with a professor and another student. The room only had one window and they were on the third floor. I can’t believe our children think like that.

None of that mattered. Well, of course it did, but the truth of the matter is that my baby was in a situation where she needed to call and give me those details.

You and I could tell statistics in horrifying detail, tell how many children – not just people in general, but specifically, innocent children, have died because of gun violence. We all have heard these numbers, and we are appalled by them.

I’m not blaming one side or the other. Both sides are alarmed by the numbers. Even the people who lobby for Second Amendment rights don't want to see children die, contrary to how it may appear.

I am profoundly disappointed in both parties. Obviously, the far right because to believe, for one minute, that your right to have a gun outweighs the right for my daughter and other children to live, is a fear-based self-absorption that I can’t even begin to fathom. But I’m also disappointed in the left wing. They do want gun control. I don’t doubt their sincerity, but the meek, weak ways they go about getting change is pathetic.

Obviously, I am no political aficionado, but I can’t help but notice that there always seem to be ways to find an exemption or a loophole when it comes to money or taxes, and there has been no creative solution whatsoever to this glaring issue.

There’s something else, though, that I realized: the kids. Madi texted us to make sure we knew she was safe. Another UNC parent shared on X (formerly Twitter) that her son texted her that he would communicate every 15 minutes so she wouldn’t worry. I’ve heard similar stories, that when in dangerous situations, kids text their folks “I love you.“ Just in case. I think my heart breaks a little more each time I hear these small things.

Prayers were answered Monday in our situation, and I know so many other people have endured far worse outcomes. Even in this small case, I can see that our innocence and naivete have been stripped away. Like many people, we have felt subconsciously, “It could never happen to us“ and now we know it can.

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