Shooting Survivors Turned Activists: 'We Were the Lucky Ones'

June 22, 2022 – The temperature was nearing 80 degrees as Mia Tretta climbed the steps to the makeshift stage on the bed of a pickup truck parked outside Los Angeles City Hall for the March for Our Lives rally.

She took the crowd of 1,000 back in time to Nov. 14, 2019, when she was a freshman at Saugus High School, northwest of L.A., and described her beloved morning ritual.

“Every day, I made a beeline for the quad,” she began, explaining that was the meetup point to see her best friend. “I’m pretty sure we were laughing when we heard the first bang.”

Another bang followed, and Tretta was on the ground quickly. She’d been shot. She managed to get up and run to a classroom, where her teacher tried to stop the bleeding.

“Moments later, I was in an ambulance, then a helicopter and then an operating room,” she said. “I had a bullet lodged inside of me, millimeters away from ending my life. But compared to my friend Dominic, I was the lucky one. In a matter of seconds, five people were shot and two were killed. Dominic was one of them.”

Tretta urged listeners to join the fight for sensible gun laws, especially the issue of “ghost guns,” privately made weapons without serial numbers. It’s been her activist focus since she found out that was the type of weapon used by the student gunman to kill the students before killing himself. By the end of her 8-minute talk, she had the crowd cheering and waving signs, ready to make the march up to Grand Park.

The talk at the rally isn’t a one-off for Tretta, who’s now almost 18. Months after the tragedy, despite needing surgery and other care, she began to volunteer at the hospital where she got

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