This article contains videos with graphic content.

The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida has made heavy the hearts of many watching as the events developed; none heavier than those who lost those they loved. Before “objectivity” is thrust into the limelight and arguments are made, I believe that it is important recognize that.

Regardless of what your political inclinations are, whether you’re currently vying for tighter gun control or struggling to retain the laws we have now, it’s important to look inside these shootings and get as close to them as possible. To not shy away from the tragic human loss factor here. While I would not recommend anyone filming with their cell phones during an event like this, it’s important that we absorb the footage that was taken to both learn and understand the reality of what goes on when these things happen.

I have been both on the civilian side of a combat scenario and on the tactical, professional side of it. In 8th grade, I was hiding under a desk in the library during a school shooting overseas, that took the lives of six. In my adult years, I went on several deployments to Afghanistan. Both gave me different perspectives that I would like to share here in the light of what has happened in Florida.

These videos can be hard to watch, especially if you’ve been through something like it before. No one ought to be exposed to this kind of violence, least of all children.

When the shooting starts, it can be difficult for the untrained mind to register what exactly is going on. During the school shooting at my school, my knee-jerk reaction was that someone was lighting off fireworks, as it was one of the popular kids’ birthday. Reports indicate that students in Parkland thought it was a drill, as they had already had a fire drill earlier that day. However, deep down in your gut, even myself as an 8th grader with virtually zero exposure to weapons, you know something is wrong. It’s probably the instinctive reaction to the very distinctive, staccato and unusually loud nature of gunfire.

Either way, never take the chance. I have seen time and time again, civilians and military personnel alike hear gunfire and react as if it must be something else.

This is what it sounds like.