So tonight I was sitting in my dorm room studying in my pj’s for a big test tomorrow and my roommate comes and knocks on my door with this scared look on her face saying there’s a guy at the main door and she can’t understand him (English is her second language so it made sense). So I go to talk to the guy, and he was very hard to understand (some sort of accent plus he was super mumbling, I had to lean in to hear him). He was asking where our RA lives, whether he was on this floor or not. I told him I know he’s on the floor I just don’t know the exact room and so on, I told him the RAs name and to go check the nametags on the other doors. I told him good luck and bye, and was about to shut the door but the guy reached and held my door open so I couldn’t close it. At this point I was starting to get a little freaked out, I asked him if there was anything else I could help him with and the guy started asking me for my number. I was polite and told him no thank you, I don’t like giving out my number to strangers, but he kept pushing. At this point I was extremely uncomfortable. I told him no I’m not interested and tried to leave again but he kept asking me over and over. Eventually I blurted out that I had a boyfriend, which made him back off enough that I could say bye and close/lock the door.
Mind you this little incident didn’t happen at a party or on the street or anywhere where I was out in public, it happened where I live. In the middle of the night. I was in sweats and a hoodie and not asking for it, I was clear and blunt and the guy still wouldn’t leave me alone until I mentioned another male presence. I should be able to feel safe in my own (albeit temporary) home, but tonight I did not.
I’m sick of getting harassed by strangers, and it scares me because I’m not allowed to have any form of protection in case incidents like this go further. That could’ve been a criminal that walked in off the street, and he very easily could’ve overpowered me. And it terrifies me that I’m not allowed to keep a firearm or anything besides a tiny little can of pepper spray with me for self defense.
Something similar happened when I was seven years old. My father was out of town for the weekend on a business trip, leaving my mother and I alone for a while. Saturday night we hear a loud bang at our door, someone had kicked it in and was in our living room. Had my parents not kept that revolver under their bed and my mother not known how to use it, that night would’ve ended very differently.
But what scares me the most is that one day I’m going to live in a world where I’m not allowed to keep a firearm in my home, when people who are willing to purchase and carry illegal weapons will have power over the law abiding citizens whose government has left them defenseless.
Stories like the one with me and my mother seldom make the news, but hundreds and hundreds of crimes are prevented every year because people are still allowed to defend themselves, despite the strict gun laws already in effect in this country. Yet the stories where people are unable to protect themselves are plastered over every news station, crimes and tragedies that could’ve been prevented if the criminals had been evenly matched and the victims given a fighting chance.
And there are people out there voting to take away the right for people like me to defend myself. Girls like me who live in big cities where it’s dangerous for them to live on their own, where even on a university campus they can get approached by strange men at night.
Living a life of privilege where you’ve never felt the need to defend yourself does not give you the right to demand they be taken away from those that do.
Please think twice before voting for gun control.