Letter: Amelia Sargent, Leesburg

Editor: I was shopping with my family at Tyson’s Corner on Sunday when the mall went into lockdown due to fears of an active shooter—which thankfully turned out to be merely panic spurred by a light fixture unexpectedly breaking.

Of course, we did not know that. As I sat in the locked-down storeroom of the Lego Store with my husband and son, Facetiming with my daughter stuck in another store, I was struck by the banality of it all. Would I die here, on this linoleum floor, surrounded by boxes of Lego “BrickHeadz” cats? Would my 11-year-old daughter, tightly packed with some teens in the storeroom of the Bath and Body Works, die alone without me to protect her, because she had taken her allowance to buy an apple-scented hand sanitizer keychain?  

Truthfully, as I could see we had an emergency exit to the parking lot (and I hoped the other storerooms did as well—maybe schools need more doors, not fewer), I was more concerned with the battery life of my daughter’s cell phone so we could meet up with her later. But was I going to tell her to hang up the call, when she just kept repeating over and over, Mom, I’m scared. Mom, I’m scared. Mom, what is happening?  Mom, I’m scared.

Is this freedom? Fear that any loud noise is the beginning of a mass shooting? Fear of enclosed spaces (classrooms), fear of open spaces (music festivals), fear of grocery shopping, attending worship services, watching a parade, seeing a movie? Freedom to force 20-something year old store associates to make life and death decisions about when to lock the doors? (Truly, the store associates did a great job, and handed out Lego party favor kits to the kids to keep them occupied to boot.)

Freedom from fear is recognized as a fundamental human right, one of President Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms, and enshrined in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Guess what’s not: freedom to carry assault rifles. While I applaud the recent bipartisan gun control bill passed by Congress, we need to demand more. Polls routinely show that the majority of Americans favor an assault rifle ban. It’s time to demand action. I’ve had enough of fear.   

Amelia Sargent, Leesburg

13 thoughts on “Letter: Amelia Sargent, Leesburg

  • 2022-08-08 at 6:26 pm
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    There was no person with a gun at the mall in the incident the writer recounts.
    Yet she is advocating for additional unspecified gun control measures because of her “fear”.
    Maybe seek counseling instead expecting the government to heal you through more ineffective gun laws.

  • 2022-08-08 at 6:56 pm
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    It’s your decision to not exercise your rights guaranteed under the Second Amendment. If you wish to live in fear, or to be a victim by having zero means to protect yourself and your loved ones then please… go ahead… it is certainly your right to do so.

    There are sheep. There are sheepdogs. And there are wolves. You get to pick which one you want to be. But you don’t get to tell me which one I’m going to be.

    When you wrote the part about demanding “more,” the rest of us know that that’s the not-so-quiet part you let slip out.
    What you and the rest of the gun-grabbers really want is to permanently end all private firearm ownership in this country. You just don’t have the courage to say it explicitly. You seem to think by limiting others’ rights, that your safety or (more accurately) your perceived safety will be increased. But that’s not the case. And anyone with an ounce of common sense knows it.

    The criminals will ALWAYS have deadly weapons. Gun crime exists in countries which ban firearms. See the assassination of Shinzo Abe for tragic proof. Or the attack last year at a grocery store in Norway… where five were murdered by an attacker armed with knives and a bow and arrows.

    I’m sorry that you went through that absurd situation at the mall, but it is up to you and you alone to be better prepared in the future.

  • 2022-08-08 at 8:59 pm
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    I agree wholeheartedly with Amelia Sargent. We need to ban these assault rifles. I don’t want to hear they’re needed for hunting or self-defense. That’s unacceptable. Sad to say, gun violence is as American as cherry pie. Back in 1966, it was a particularly horrible summer/fall. Richard Speck massacred eight student nurses in their townhome. Charles Whitman killed 17 people at the University of Texas. And Richard Benjamin Smith killed five females in a beauty parlor. The more things change, the more things stay the same. RIP

    • 2022-08-09 at 9:07 am
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      Back in November 2021, Darrell Edward Brooks Jr used a motor vehicle to massacre six and injure sixty two additional parade participants in Wisconsin
      In 2017, Sayfullo Saipov rented a truck in NYC and used it to murder eight victims and injure eleven more.
      Lakeisha Holloway used her vehicle to commit murder and inflict injuries on dozens of pedestrians in Las Vegas in 2015.

      Shall the United States ban motor vehicles?

      Or in other countries, where blade attacks results in mass casualty events… should they ban knives?

    • 2022-08-16 at 5:16 pm
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      Oh get real. It wasn’t an assault rifle (a misnomer to start with) it was a LIGHT BULB! Are you planning to ban them too?
      #LCRC #LifeLibertyLoudoun!

  • 2022-08-08 at 10:49 pm
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    Your logic is self-refuting. Malls and other commercial properties CANNOT secure their facilities. This has been proven time and time again. Most don’t even try to do so. This too has been proven over and over again.

    The most recent acts of Congress fly in the face of the recent SCOTUS decisions which state categorically that citizens have the right to possess weapons of war. That is exactly what the second amendment states.

    FDR might have proclaimed a lot of things but that doesn’t enshrine any of them as constitutional rights. FDR also locked up hundreds of thousands of American citizens in concentration camps because they were the “wrong race.” So much for the protector of rights. And the victims of Nazi and Soviet concentration camps would have been better off if they hadn’t been disarmed by their governments that likewise promised a great many “basic rights” just before they murdered tens of millions of people.

    You are ultimately responsible for your safety. You are your own first responder. You must learn to protect yourself and your family or you will spend more time cowering in fear behind a glass wall and little plastic bricks. Choose wisely.

  • 2022-08-09 at 11:32 am
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    Was the writer in fear of being run down in the mall parking lot by a nutjob with a car, like the victims of the Waukesha Christmas parade? Or living in fear of being struck by lightning?

    So many fears… You should speak with a professional.

  • 2022-08-09 at 1:00 pm
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    This association between an exploding light fixture and firearms is very weak and sounds juvenile. Perhaps there is something more to this letter. Many people suffer from anxiety. Consider contacting someone who can help you through your fears.

  • 2022-08-09 at 4:06 pm
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    Right or wrong, the 20 something at least made a decision. Your decision to live in fear is yours. Too bad it’s a bad example for your kids.

  • 2022-08-09 at 7:43 pm
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    What is an assault rifle? Go ahead I will wait, make sure you include your source.

  • 2022-08-09 at 9:44 pm
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    It is definitely time for you to stop watching CNN or MSNBC or both and stop living your life in fear.
    This letter was nonsense and I cannot even imagine the fear you put in your children’s heads every time they walk out the door. Seek help immediately.

  • 2022-08-11 at 2:30 pm
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    I was taking a walk and heard a dog bark. Let’s eliminate all dogs.

  • 2022-08-17 at 9:53 am
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    I guess the writer would also want to ban vehicles. People who have carried out large scale shooting events arrived via a vehicle. No vehicles equate to no large scale shooting events – right?

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