Bio: Virginia Gaffney

TwitterInstagramTumblrCamp Oak Hallows

Birthday: November 8, 1999

Location: Austin, TX

Registered to Vote: January 2018 in TX-CD-17, TX-S-14, TX-HD-50

Organizations: Activism On the Road, National Die-In, National March On the NRA @ Dallas, GenStrongChange

Fun Facts About Me: Third generation Euro-Latina. I can eat my body weight in fried rice and every square foot of my bedroom has something space related.

Why I Fight: I’ve been involved in Girl Scout camp as long as I can remember. I started attending when I was 5, I served on staff for four years, camp and the girls I lived with have been my life and motivation for a long time. In more recent years, the emphasis on intruder safety has grown. Secret codes for “Radio Silence” and “Active Shooter On-Camp” are so ingrained in my mind, I don’t know how to express their weight in words. When I go back to “the real world” after leaving camp, the sense of community and responsibility stays with me. I am always looking for the exits and the safe spots and going through emergency procedure in my head. But, damn, I shouldn’t have to.

I became involved in activism after MSD, when I organized the Walkout for my school district. We met local candidates for office in TX-10, and -17, we drew with chalk all over our area, and we sang together, because it could calm our minds for a few moments.

I fight so my brother won’t have to know my fear, or the fear that has become reality for too many this year alone. I fight so my little cousins, who are only just about to start junior high, can feel safe and confident. I fight so the campers and staff on the property I hope to own one day won’t need a run-down on Active Shooter protocol.

Gun violence affects us all, even if it affects us differently.

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