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Day 7: Dallas & Oklahoma City

By Max Nelkens:

We started off the day with a discussion on guns and gun control, in which I learned about different laws and court cases involving the evolution of gun laws to what we have today.

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For example, I learned about how it’s an easier process to purchase a firearm at a gun show than at an actual gun store. It’s amazing how there’s such a different process for buying the same thing that has killing potential. Many different arguments were brought up and we had a good discussion.

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We then left Dallas and drove to Oklahoma City, where we visited the memorial for those who died in the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

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The memorial is located at the site of bombing, which was at a federal office building, whose destruction represented the largest terror attack in America at the time and the first domestic terror attack on American soil. We visited the memorial during the day, and learned about the history of the bombing, the events leading up to it, and the motivations behind it.

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We then went to dinner and all went bowling together, which was a fun atmosphere. We talked about how while it is important to have fun and celebrate life, it’s also important to take a step back and evaluate what’s going on around us in the world.

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On that note, we then visited the memorial again at night time. I felt it was more powerful seeing the monument at night. The 168 lights, representing 168 human beings who perished before their time in a senseless act of violence, glowed like sentinels, silent in the dark. The names were clearer at night and it was also quieter. The atmosphere was solemn yet hopeful. On our way walking into the monument, we saw a group of people together partying and playing loud music. This was a perfect reminder of the juxtaposition of fun and serious we had talked about, in which I realized that you have to appreciate every second of life and how life is so precious.

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