(RepublicanReport.org) – Gun violence remains a growing problem in the US. School shootings are still happening at an alarming rate, which is driving much of the population to push for gun control laws. But not everyone is so quick to toss the idea of owning firearms or the Second Amendment out the window. In fact, one survivor of a school shooting is taking a very different approach.
Kaylee Stockton, who survived the 2019 shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California, shared her experience in an op-ed for Newsweek. Stockton explained how she moved from Phoenix, Arizona when she was 12 and loved it. At the time, the young woman had little interest in politics and didn’t side with Republicans or Democrats. Stockton recalled her father owning guns but said she never thought about it back then.
That changed on November 14, 2019.
Stockton remembers leaving her classroom to speak to a friend on that fateful day. A gunshot rang out only moments into their conversation. The young woman quickly looked to her friend to gauge his reaction, but he didn’t appear alarmed. She would later find out that he hadn’t heard that initial shot.
That’s when chaos quickly broke out. Kids ran toward the pair as they stood in the hallway, most screaming in fear.
The young woman initially felt the urge to run toward the gunfire to see what was going on. As she attempted to walk toward the shooter, a student stopped her, telling her that she needed to get out of the school. Stockton looked to her friend, who agreed, and they took off.
Attempting to Flee
Stockton, who served on the school’s track team, mentioned how she surrealistically criticized her form as she attempted to run from the shooter. She feels that was likely her mind’s way of distracting her from the stress of the situation. The survivor ran until she realized her friend was no longer behind her, eventually stopping briefly to look for him. They eventually made eye contact, and a teacher opened the door, allowing them to run into the classroom.
Once inside the classroom, Stockton used her friend’s phone to text her dad and let him know what was happening and that she was safe. To distract from the reality of what was happening, each of the students went around the room and introduced themselves.
Stockton recalled someone saying there was a gun. Then, it seemed as if everything came to a sudden halt. An armed person rounded the corner, which likely prompted a moment of anxiety for the class. Fortunately, it was a police officer rather than the shooter.
Authorities began evacuating the classroom shortly after they arrived. It wasn’t until much later that Stockton learned the shooter had killed two students and ended his own life.
Getting on With Life
When Stockton finally got home, she planted herself in front of the TV. She noted that it seemed as if every station was reporting on the shooting at the time. Her father, perhaps concerned about the long-term mental health effects of experiencing a shooting, encouraged her to talk about her feelings and the situation. He told the young lady to go to a community-spearheaded emergency trauma therapy session.
Like many victims who witnessed a violent crime, Stockton suffered side effects. She became obsessed with the shooting and started researching past incidents to learn more. They all had one thing in common: each occurred in a gun-free zone.
Her conclusion? If an adult at the school had been armed, the situation might have played out differently.
Stockton took to social media, where she conversed with her peers on fallout. She completely agreed with some of their sentiments, such as the idea that teens should be able to attend school without fear of retribution from a shooter. The exchanges grew more and more heated when she shared her thoughts on gun control, costing her friends.
While Stockton may have gotten flack for standing up for the Second Amendment, she also received significant praise, love, and support from other pro-gun advocates.
Anti-firearm advocates targeted Stockton with hate instead. And while no one could fault the young woman for lashing out in response, she took another very different path: understanding. “I can’t be angry,” she said, “because I believe I am standing up for the right thing.”
Stockton fully understands why people lash out against her opinions. In her article, she noted just how extremely emotional the issue is for people. “I cannot blame anyone for reacting viscerally to my views,” she explained.
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