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Identity

I Never Imagined It Would Happen

November 28, 2018
Perri Schwartz

Sandy Springs, Georgia, United States

I lost someone to gun violence.

On the night of November 2nd, I lost my former nanny in a shooting at a Tallahassee, Florida, Hot Yoga studio. Maura Binkley, one of the two killed, was a 21-year-old student at Florida State University.

Binkley was from Atlanta, Georgia, and a 2015 graduate from Dunwoody High School, where she was yearbook editor and a cheerleader. She was a double major in English and German at Florida State University. Recently, she had taken part in a summer exchange program in Germany and had been traveling around Europe, according to the Florida State University website. She had also hoped to get a job with Teach for America after her graduation in May, according to CNN & The Tallahassee Democrat. She was also Vice President of development of the Delta Delta Delta (Tri Delta) sorority at Florida State, according to the sorority Facebook group.

In a statement to The Tallahassee Democrat, her father, Jeff Binkley, stated: “She just wanted to help other people.” “That’s all she wanted to do.” Maura also “hated gun violence so much,” according to her father. “I want people to know that she loved everyone. She believed in living her life for others,” he said. “One of her greatest wishes was simply for peace, that the senseless violence would stop.”

The fraternity President of Tri Delta, Kimberlee Sullivan, issued a statement the next day:

"The Alpha Eta Chapter of Tri Delta at Florida State is devastated by the passing of our beloved sister, Maura Binkley. As a leader in the chapter, Maura embodied the Tri Delta woman – brave, bold and kind. Our hearts are with her family, our sisters and the FSU community during this difficult time.  We are grateful for the outpouring of support as we honor Maura’s life, and we respectfully ask for privacy as we grieve this tragic loss.”

I am so blessed to have known Maura, and I did not think her life would be taken away too soon. I’m completely in shock over what happened. Even though I didn’t know Maura that well, she was always so polite to me. Whenever I would see her she always had a bright smile on her face. She was always welcoming. Everyone who knew her will miss her deeply.

In Maura's honor, I have made a donation to Everytown for Gun Safety.

As a teen movement, we are working together to make sure our world is a better place. We are the future generation and today's leaders. It’s up to us to make the change we wish to see in our world.

I pledge to work to make spaces from synagogues to schools to yoga studios, safe for all.

Perri Schwartz is a BBG who hails from B’yachad BBG #2495 in Greater Atlanta Region. She loves history, news, and politics, and plans on being a journalist in the future.

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