Virginia Tech—My fifth grade class was at the airport in Virginia (either Norfolk or Richmond, I can’t remember), returning from a field trip to colonial Williamsburg. Our teachers tried to protect us from seeing anything on the TVs in the boarding area. It was impossible not to catch a glimpse. (04/16/2007)
Aurora, Colorado—I was in England doing a summer program at the University of Cambridge. The Olympics were in full swing, and I was taking classes on Darwin and on terrorism. We went to see The Dark Knight Rises later during the summer, and I couldn’t stop thinking about Aurora. This was after my first boyfriend dumped me. Trayvon Martin had been shot and killed earlier that year in my hometown of Orlando. (07/20/2012)
Sandy Hook—I was in precalculus—my last class of the day—during my junior year of high school in Winter Park, Florida. I had just gotten my driver’s license earlier that year. I was in class with the ex who’d dumped me, and tried to avoid eye contact with him at all costs. (12/14/2012)
Pulse—I was a supervisor at an overnight camp in North Carolina where I had spent nine summers. I had just finished my first year of college. A good friend of mine at camp had worked at Disney and loved going out to dance at Pulse. My dad picked me up from the airport after camp ended. He said I needed to see where it happened before we went home. (06/12/2016)
Parkland—I was in between classes during my study abroad in Jerusalem. My friend said, “Jackie, there’s been a shooting in Florida.” My stomach dropped. I asked where. He said, “Parkland.” I was relieved that it wasn’t in Orlando, and felt guilty for thinking that. I spent two years at the same summer camp one of the victims went to. (02/14/2018)
Pittsburgh—I was finishing up my last semester at Barnard College in New York City. My friends and I had made plans to go to a club in Chelsea for a Halloween party. We felt guilty for still wanting to go out. We went to Tom’s Diner after and discussed the shooting. Hillel at Columbia University held a vigil the next day. Simchat Torah, the last of the High Holidays, was just three weeks before. The last time we were this many people in the room, we were dancing. This time, we cried. (10/27/2018)
Virginia Beach—I was in New York waiting out the end of an internship I was unhappy with. I was supposed to attend the wedding of a childhood friend a week later in Florida. My family would be going to the beach after. (5/31/2019)
El Paso and Dayton—I was visiting a friend at the beach in Margate, New Jersey. We were celebrating her birthday. I made cupcakes. (08/03 and 08/04/2019)
Every City, USA—Who knows where I’ll be? (XX/XX/20XX)
A Reuters/Ipsos poll found that 69 percent of Americans—including 85 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of Republicans—want strong or moderate restrictions placed on firearms.
We need common sense gun regulation now. The following organizations are working to push gun control legislation forward. #EnoughIsEnough
- Moms Demand Action
- Everytown for Gun Safety
- The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
- The Brady Campaign
Jackie Hajdenberg is a staff editor at Honeysuckle Magazine, a writer based in New York and an alum of Barnard College. You can follow her on Twitter@DrJackieMrsHajd.