1. This is Mindy Finkelstein, a survivor of a shooting by a white supremacist at the LA Jewish Community Center in 1999. Mindy agreed to tell us about her experience and how it affects her life to this day.
2. “I was working as a camp counselor when I was 16 years old at the Jewish Community Center.”
3. “As we walked to the front of the building, a man walked in… and started shooting. He shot off about 70 rounds of ammunition. He shot me first, and then he just started spraying. He showed up on a day when there were a lot of kids there — about 350.”
4. “I lost a lot of blood, and I couldn’t keep running. I lay down and played dead until I heard sirens.”
5. “He shot three five-year-old kids, me, who was sixteen at the time, and a 65-year-old receptionist.”
“I remember feeling invisible, because there was air running through me.”
6. “To this day, I still have quite a bit of shrapnel inside my leg.”
Mindy says when she was in high school, she ended up in a psych ward when a friend was just playing around with a Nerf gun because of the trauma she experienced. She still experiences panic attacks whenever she sees news of a mass shooting.
7. “I was in the right place at the right time. I was sixteen, working with little kids, protecting them and our future as a society, so how dare you tell me I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. HE was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Analysis of FBI data from 1970 to 2013 shows that mass shootings are steadily on the rise. Most of the weapons used in mass shootings in the U.S. are acquired legally, according to data from Mother Jones.
8. “I wouldn’t put this on anybody… Nobody deserves to go through that kind of pain.”
Thank you, Mindy, for sharing your story with us.