There is no doubt that, at this moment, anxiety, paranoia, and fear are at a fever pitch in the United States. Mass shootings are so firmly implanted in the public consciousness that many people are frightened of becoming a victim on their next trip to the mall, or to school, or to the grocery store.
And the recent mass killings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, have only made Americans more anxious. People are taking to social media to express their fear and incredulity about the current state of affairs in the U.S.
Whenever I'm in a public space, I think about what would happen if a mass shooting broke out. It's a constant, low-level anxiety that follows me everywhere. I wonder if it's just me. I don't think it is.
— Geraldine (@everywhereist) August 3, 2019
In the tweet above, the woman says, “Whenever I’m in a public space, I think about what would happen if a mass shooting broke out. It’s a constant, low-level anxiety that follows me everywhere. I wonder if it’s just me. I don’t think it is.”
She’s absolutely right: it isn’t just her.
An 18-year-old man from Oregon named Steve Reveles said, “I’ve kinda had this fear for a while but it’s just getting worse because they’re happening more frequently and who knows where the next mass shooting is going to happen or how many are going to happen? Am I safe anywhere?”
A woman named Jes Karakashian shared her thoughts on the subject, explaining to BuzzFeed:
“In 1992 a student shot a teacher in the face at my high school. I was in class two doors down. When I lived in Denver, I watched Columbine happen in real-time on the news. The Aurora Century theater is a theater I frequented years before the shooting there. Several months after Sandy Hook — which was 20 years to the day of the shooting at my high school, by the way — I sent my eldest to kindergarten, where on the first day of school there was a lockout because the police were looking for a man who had shot his girlfriend in Rochester the day before. I’ve never been more terrified in my life for my child’s safety.”
Other people shared their feelings on Twitter as well.
My husband was so worried that I was calculating exit strategies whenever I entered public buildings that he asked me to go to therapy. The therapist told me, "oh honey, you're fine. You're being proactive and aware. That's how it has to be now."
— NecroMomicon (@JesDKArt) August 3, 2019
It's not just you. The college where I work freaks me out the most. Classrooms have only one door. Other classrooms have glass walls. I try not to let my mind go there, but it does anyway.
— Wendy M. Christensen 🦉📚🏳️🌈✊🏼🍺🌲 (@wendyphd) August 4, 2019
Every Sunday I have a spot I HAVE to sit at in church. I’m insistent on it because it’s my best route to exits Incase someone comes in and opens fire. Ive tried to convince myself to stop doing this. 2 mass shootings in 24 hrs. What a nightmare we are living in.
— Brandi Rhodes (@TheBrandiRhodes) August 4, 2019
There are so many shootings I don't feel safe going anywhere in public anymore. How many shootings do we need to prove that something needs to be changed???😓
— RoseXO (@RoseTheGod) August 4, 2019
DUDE. It’s at the point where I don’t feel safe anywhere man. 2 mass shooting in one day? Something has to happen. https://t.co/MD2iO8lD6m
— JG ✞ (@JGardner__) August 4, 2019
After today, I don’t think I’m ever going to feel comfortable or safe going anywhere
— 𝔇𝔞𝔫𝔫𝔦𝔢 (@dannieovo) August 4, 2019
I don’t even feel safe going anywhere anymore man. When are these acts of terrorism and violence going to stop?? Swear it just gets worse and worse. Im losing faith in humanity, I hope everyone is safe and careful next time they go out.
— 𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒗𝒆 (@trillxsteve) August 4, 2019
Scary times, indeed. Stay safe out there…