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Opinion | MSU student: Want freedom? How about freedom from gun violence

Kirin Krafthefer with a friend at a MSU game
Kirin Krafthefer, left, is a sophomore at Michigan State University majoring in psychology. She is from Ludington.

[Editor’s note: This column was originally posted by MSU student Kirin Krafthefer on social media. It is now on a site she created, Spartan Stronger, intended to give voice to testimonials by MSU students and staff following the mass shooting on campus Feb. 13.]

Run, hide, fight.

These were outlined as directions in an email sent out to a student body of freshly independent adults, myself included. In a generation of students born into a post-Colombine world our instincts kicked in.

Related: On ‘Spartan Stronger’ website, Michigan State students process their grief

While looking to my friends in fearful confusion, I heard the voice of my elementary teacher telling me how to most effectively barricade a door.

When passing out every pair of scissors we could find in the dorm, I heard my middle school teacher telling me it’s okay to fight back and to be brave.

As I huddled in a corner with five of my closest friends — blinds drawn shut with the window open just a crack to hear if the gunshots got closer, holding hands, frantically trying to get ahold of our parents to tell them we love them — I was there with my high school teachers and classmates desperately trying to remember how best to stay calm and how to cry silent tears in case a nearby shooter would hear my panic.

In a country that idolizes freedom, I need freedom. I need freedom to go to my dining hall without checking over my shoulder to see if there is a gunman. I need freedom to tell those close to me I love them without fear it’ll be the last time I say it. I need freedom to get a violence free education.

A right to bear arms? I need the right to live the carefree childhood and early adulthood I was promised by generations before me.

Instead I am given the right to pray to a god I don’t believe in, hoping he will take pity on me and spare me from the bullets my classmates were victim to. You trained us well: to run, hide and fight.

Wake up America, your children are scared.

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