By Mallory Simon and Sara Sidner
March 7, 2018
There was a mass shooting, this one at a school called Marjory Stoneman Douglas, in Parkland, Florida.
When the news alert popped up on her phone, Christine Caria, shopping in a grocery store, panicked. She ran to the bathroom, locked herself inside and began to vomit.
Caria survived the October 1, 2017, Las Vegas massacre, the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.
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Caria said her experience inspired her to become president of the Las Vegas chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. She sees herself in the students in Florida demanding action.
So does Heather Gooze, who was a bartender at the festival in Las Vegas that night.
Mass shootings make Gooze feel numb. “The mental and emotional wounds last a lifetime,” she said.
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Both women are trying to find common ground in stopping gun attacks such as the Texas church shooting and what happened in Parkland.
But the trauma stalks them. When they can’t get out of bed. When friends stop calling. When even a husband can’t bear to hear the story told again.
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They know the psychological trap doors that lie ahead for the Parkland students and other gun attack survivors.
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There’s going to be bad days. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Don’t let people tell you to get over it. Don’t let people tell you that they’re tired of hearing you talk about it.
Caria and Gooze want the Parkland students to know they are not alone.
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We’re here for you, we get it. We understand.