I still remember the feeling of helplessness. I was an 18-year-old college freshman in Cleveland, Ohio, fewer than 180 yards from my dorm. A man approached me as I walked back through class. His gait was strange and his eyes red, beckoning me to come closer. My heart quickened, and I began walking faster. The area, normally flush with students, was eerily quiet.
I didn’t know what to do. My mom had taught me to be situationally aware, so I noticed his interest in me when he was a dozen yards away. If I turned back the way I came, I might encounter more people, but I also would be turning my back to the man. He was clearly under the influence of something, if not unstable. We considered the possibility he had a firearm. If I angered him and switched my back, I was putting myself at considerable risk.
A hotel was the only potentially open building I could duck into. He was in front of it. I actually planned to cut through the parking lot, and to begin running when out of his sight. All this time, My partner and i pretended My spouse and i didn’t see or hear him. Keeping an eye on the man in my peripheral vision, I nonchalantly reached in to my purse to pull out my flip phone. It didn’t support the campus security apps, leaving me with the option of calling the emergency number or my parents. Around this time, a couple driving by pulled their vehicle between me and the stranger. While the man yelled at your pet to leave, the woman in the car urged me personally to go. I just didn’t need another word. I ran as fast as I possibly could to my dormitory building, fumbled with my key card and didn’t rest until I was safely inside and out of sight using the door locked.
Physically shaking, the adrenaline wore off and the tears came. When i finally reached my parents and am just remember repeating over and over again: “I want a concealed carry. ” I meant a license to carry concealed, something I was forbidden from obtaining until I reached 21 years of age. Firearms were also strictly prohibited on campus. In that moment, We vowed to never feel helpless again.