American tragedy: Living through multiple shootings
The number of shootings continues to mount across the United States, resulting in more and more people living through multiple traumatic instances of gun violence.
Several Americans are speaking out about their experiences being impacted by more than one massacre, including the Nashville school shooting on Monday, in which the lives of three children and three adults were abruptly ended.
- Journalist and survivor -
Joylyn Bukovac, a reporter for local TV station WSMV 4, was covering the Nashville shooting when she revealed to viewers that the event brought back painful memories.
"This is something that hits very close to home for me. Many of you might not know this, but I'm actually a school shooting survivor," she said.
When she was in the eighth grade, she said, a gunman opened fire in the hallway of her school.
She told viewers that she "wasn't really ready to talk about it for two years," and urged others to be "very gentle" with the students who experienced tragedy Monday at their school.
"Let them talk when they're ready because the shock that they're going to be feeling coming home is going to be unfathomable."
The video of Bukovac's Nashville report went viral, prompting messages of support to flood in.
"I just want people to know they aren't alone," she said later in a tweet.
"I don't talk about it much, but I think about what happened on February 5, 2010 often," she said, adding she also wants to "discuss solutions."
"As a mom, I am worried for the future," said Bukovac.
- Illinois to Tennessee -
Another video has also gone viral: that of a woman, herself the survivor of a previous mass shooting, bursting into a press conference in Nashville to make an impassioned plea against gun violence.
Ashbey Beasley and her son were attending a Fourth of July parade last year in Highland Park, a suburb of Chicago, when a gunman opened fire, killing seven.
Beasley said in a tweet that she was "on a family vacation" in Nashville, when the school shooting occurred.
"Aren't you guys tired of being here and having to cover all of these mass shootings?" she asked the press conference.
"How is this still happening?"
She later told CNN that she had been planning to have lunch with a friend on Monday who lost her son in a mass shooting at a restaurant five years ago.
But the friend told Beasley that another one of her children was in lockdown due to the Nashville school shooting.
"This is where we are at, we have children living through multiple mass shootings. What are we doing?" asked Beasley.
- High school to university -
Emma Riddle survived a deadly shooting at her high school in 2021 and hoped to never experience such a nightmare again.
But just over a year later, she found herself locked down at Michigan State University, as a gunman killed three other students.
"14 months ago I had to evacuate... when a fifteen year old opened fire and killed four of my classmates and injured seven more," she tweeted the night of the February 13 attack.
"Tonight, I am sitting under my desk... once again texting everyone 'I love you.'"
"When will this end?" she added.
Her father, Matt Riddle, later said that because his daughter had experienced a prior school shooting, she knew what "she needs to do in these situations."
"I don't like that she has those tools -- I wish she didn't -- but she does," he told ABC News.
"Her safety and sense of peace has been ripped away twice in 14 months because America continues to choose guns over kids," he later added on Twitter. - AFP