Connors, J. (2018, September). Katie’s New Face. The National Geographic.
Katie Stubblefield’s face looked like the above picture because she attempted suicide with a hunting rifle. “(As a little girl) ‘She was fearless, very fearless, and a lot of fun.’ As she grew older, Katie put enormous pressure on herself to achieve. ‘She wanted to be the best in all of these sports that she’d never even tried before. She wanted to be the best academically. She studied for hours, all the time.” One day in March, Katie discovered her boyfriend was cheating on her. She locked herself in her brother’s bathroom with her brother’s hunting rifle. She put the rifle below her chin and pulled the trigger. She was unsuccessful and 3 years later she received a face transplant
The focus of the article is largely on the science of Katie’s face transplant. The message I received from the article is that we need to keep our young people safe from gun violence because they are our most vulnerable. How many of you can call yourselves a perfectionist or know someone who is? This story hit close to home for me. Someone very close to me is a perfectionist with unreasonable expectations. When something goes slightly wrong, this person cannot cope and may act on an impulse that one day could have devasting consequences.
I used this picture of Katie not to exploit her but to let her face serve as an example for our young people who look to suicide or hurting themselves as answers to their problems. There is always a way out, always a path to happiness. A quote I remember from Schindler’s List is when someone asks a person who was in a concentration camp why they didn’t commit suicide and the person said, “If I committed suicide, I would never know how the story was going to end.” Please keep that in mind when thinking you need to take your own life.
Katie had never thought about suicide before. The accident was a moment, an impulsive reaction. We need to protect our most vulnerable from their impulsive moments and from gun violence. Katie, at age 18, was one our vulnerable children that we could have helped by properly locking and storing guns. Our children getting gunned down in schools are our most vulnerable that we need to protect from gun violence. Our people who are shooting our most vulnerable in churches, movie theaters, businesses, sidewalks, and communities need for us to save them from their impulses or methodical planning by making sure weapons are secure, ammunition is regulated, and weapons are not available to them.
We need to recognize as a society that gun safety legislation is not about trying to take something from someone. Gun safety legislation is about protecting our most vulnerable from themselves and from others. We need to put our selfishness aside and stand up for safety. We need to understand that securing our weapons and keeping them out of harm’s way is for safety. Don’t do this for me, do it for our children, the most vulnerable among us.
Make America Safe Again