‘A world so safe, you don’t even run when you hear a gunshot.’: American teacher shares harrowing reaction to assassination of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

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“Sometimes, I have to take a break from watching the news because I have a tendency to obsess over things I cannot control. Well, it has happened again. I am obsessing and the only way to cure my obsession is to write out what I am feeling.

I saw the video of the Prime Minister getting shot in Japan. Obviously it was awful, but it was awful in ways I did not expect it to be. You see, my husband and I have traveled to Japan. We love Japan and the beautiful people who live there.

When we first traveled to Japan, my husband left his bag on the train on the way to the hotel. It contained his wallet, his passport, our Go-Pro, and our Nintendo Switch. Being Americans, we assumed we were stranded in Japan and somebody made off with our stuff.


The hotel concierge spent 12 whole hours emailing and calling people from the train station trying to find our stuff. She sent my husband updates every hour informing him, ‘I still haven’t found it, but I will keep looking.’ She went above and beyond to help us, even though she absolutely did not need to. Then, she found our stuff. She actually found it.

When we arrived at the specific train station it was at, the security guard handed us our bag with everything still inside. Shocked is an understatement.

My love for Japanese people started there and it has never left.

When I saw the video of the Prime Minister getting assassinated, my main focus was on the people. You see, when the first gunshot was fired, nobody moved.

Not a single person in the video I saw started running. Everyone just stood there and it took me a second to understand why.

They don’t have gun violence.

This doesn’t happen often to them.

This virtually never happens to them.

I was raised with ‘Doctor Lock It’ drills. When I grew up and became a teacher, I taught my students how to hide under desks as well. I know and love many people who own firearms for self defense.

I know and love people who think guns are evil. Most of the people I know are a tad paranoid when it comes to crowded places.

This past weekend when we traveled to the city for the 4th of July my first thought was, ‘Let’s choose a spot away from the majority of the crowd, just in case somebody starts shooting.’

Luckily, nobody shot at us.

Chicago was not so lucky.

I wonder what it is like to live in a world where you feel so safe, you don’t even run when you hear a gunshot.

I wonder what it must be like to walk to work in a city without clutching your keys between your fingers to use as a makeshift weapon in case somebody tries to mug you.

In Nara, Japan, there is a park filled with wild deer. They live their lives lounging amongst humans and feeding at their leisure. You can buy snacks to give them and they will happily follow you anywhere.

In Tennessee, the deer know better. They don’t go anywhere near humans. They are hunted, so survival has taught them to run and hide.

Sometimes, I think it would be nice to live life as a Nara Deer.”

Courtesy of Chip Vincent via unsplash.com

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Lisa Carnett. You can follow her journey on InstagramFacebook, and blog. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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