"Nobody should have to live in constant fear of gun violence. This country is better than this. Let’s FIX this NOW," said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
It's absolutely disheartening when you have to think twice before stepping out of your home, or pray that your loved ones return home safely when they go off to school or to work. You can't even tell what's next, who's next, or when and where will the next violent terror attack will occur. A recent incident that took place in New York was a stark reflection of the reality as panic flooded through the lanes of Times Square on Tuesday evening, August 6, according to the Daily Mail.
The moment the crowd heard popping sounds, it led to a large stampede where people's first instinct was to run for their lives.
The loud bangs actually came from a motorcycle that backfired, but they were frightening enough for innocent people to run, scramble, and take cover, thinking that they were under attack. Mistaking the sounds for gunshots revealed the terror that people are harboring as they walk down the streets.
“It sounded like gunshots, it definitely did. Two or three thousand people, maybe, just dissipated into thin air,” Harlem resident Evan Dore said, as reported by CBS New York.
“They were all running, like running everywhere. Almost got hit by cars and everything. They jumped out of shoes. There were shoes everywhere,” said Ace Guzman, who works in Times Square, while tourist Susan Ryan said, “Hats and shoes, anything, they dropped, they didn’t care, just kept going, which you would if you’re thinking somebody is about to kill me.”
One woman, Bridget Siljander, was in the midst of the chaos and was separated from her daughter while it happened. "Everyone thought there was a shooter coming down the streets. I thought I was going to watch my daughter get shot down in front of me," Bridget said, according to NBC New York.
It's a state of living that nobody deserves to be in, to wake up each day wondering if you or anybody you know will be at the other end of a gun when they leave the house.
The climate of the country has turned extremely gray and people are desperately trying to ensure that their loved ones are safe. Tara Clauuson, a tourist said, “Wanted to protect my children. Safety and praying that this wasn’t the end. We were frightened, because this is the world we live in, and it shouldn’t have to be this way. Shouldn’t have to have girls with their whole life in front of them be afraid."
While officials try everything that they can to make public places safe, people still feel that they can never tell what might happen when you're at the wrong place at the wrong time.
"Times Square is safe and secure per @NYPDNews. The noises earlier were motorcycles backfiring, not gunshots. But what people felt was all too real," tweeted Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted. "Nobody should have to live in constant fear of gun violence. This country is better than this. Let’s FIX this NOW."
Times Square is safe and secure per @NYPDNews. The noises earlier were motorcycles backfiring, not gunshots.— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) August 7, 2019
But what people felt was all too real.
Nobody should have to live in constant fear of gun violence. This country is better than this.
Let’s FIX this NOW. https://t.co/5xPkw6TGnZ
In this year alone, there have been over 250 mass shootings that took away the lives of people who are irreplaceable in their family's lives. Those people had their own lives and their entire future ahead of them, but everything came to an end in seconds.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police told NPR, "Gun violence is not a new issue — it is a continuing tragedy that destroys innocent lives, families and communities."
The mass shootings in three different cities over the weekend has robbed the feeling of safety from many who call America 'home'. Gun violence might be a regular thing for the headlines now, but like the incident in New York showed, the panic and fear should never be.
Stampede in Times Square after motorcycle backfire is confused for active shooter— EAM News (@EAM_News) August 7, 2019
----#NewYork #NewYorkCity #Newyorkshot #TimesSquare #NYC #Newyorkshot #motorcyclebackfire pic.twitter.com/F40gXcZJRU