I’m a victim of gun violence. Not the kind you hear about – the mass killing of people in theaters, malls and schools – but the quieter kind, where someone performing their routine activities is attacked by someone with a gun.

My story took place on a quiet street in Pittsburgh more than 30 years ago. I’m certain stories like mine take place every day across the country. No one is safe from gun violence.

As long as there are more guns than there are people in America, we are not safe – in the grocery store, in a theater, at concerts or in the street. Yet many feel that a constitutional amendment drafted for a very different time and society should give everyone the right to carry a weapon designed to kill. What about the right to be able to go about our daily lives without fear?

After my incident, I didn’t go out after dark for years. I was constantly looking behind me to see if I was being followed, and to this day if someone comes toward me as I’m getting out of my car, I have a panic attack.

I don’t understand why so many people believe guns will protect them, versus being used in their homes by a child, or for suicide, and why they don’t believe the facts about the lack of gun violence in countries with strict laws. Why wouldn’t everyone want to live where they don’t feel they have to carry a gun for protection?

The answer to the problem is to get guns off the streets and out of public places, not to arm the public. People need to realize that gunmakers and the National Rifle Association are doing the exact same thing here that they’re doing in war-torn countries – they are arming people, and making billions of dollars in the process, making America a war zone.

Kim Filippone