To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDEdspace and end it with #DoNowGun

For more info on how to use Twitter, click here.


Do Now

How does gun violence affect you and your community? How can young people help to reduce the threat of gun violence? How should we educate kids about the possibility of gun violence without causing them to live in fear?

Introduction

Gun violence poses a serious threat to U.S. teens and their communities. Many young people are surrounded by constant reminders of that threat– from hearing the pop-pop-pop of gunshots at night to losing friends and family members to shootings.

Being exposed to gun violence can have a deep impact on kids, including aggression, insomnia, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress. Some researchers say that schools should do more to proactively equip young people with ways to cope, especially in neighborhoods with high rates of violence.

Youth Radio’s Maya Escobar is familiar with the kind of fear that a shooting can instill. When she was eight years old and asleep in the top bunk of her bed, a bullet came smashing through her window. The experience changed the way she saw the world, making her more aware — and fearful — of the threat of gun violence in her community.

“I stopped playing outside like I used to,” she says. “I started paying attention to the noises outside my house and wherever I went. I listened for any angry voices or people yelling at each other, because arguments can escalate quickly into violence.”

Maya says balancing fear and awareness of gun violence is difficult, but she does her best to educate her little sisters.

“At home, instead of doing fire drills, I had my little sisters practice what to do if there was another shooting,” she says. “I told them to find a place to hide, like under a bed.”

Maya’s story is a reminder that gun violence doesn’t only affect direct victims and perpetrators. Bystanders, loved ones, and friends who witness shootings–even when no one gets physically hurt–can carry that experience with them, and can benefit from programs designed to help young people feel, and actually be, safe in their homes and communities.

Resource

VIDEO: Bullet In The Bedroom (Youth Radio)
“The world of Youth Radio reporter Maya Escobar has been shaped by something commonplace to families like hers in Oakland — gunshots.” In this animated video, Maya explores a traumatic event in her childhood, and how she overcomes the fear that remains.


To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDedspace and end it with #DoNowGun

For more info on how to use Twitter, click here.

We encourage students to reply to other people’s tweets to foster more of a conversation. Also, if students tweet their personal opinions, ask them to support their ideas with links to interesting/credible articles online (adding a nice research component) or retweet other people’s ideas that they agree/disagree/find amusing. We also value student-produced media linked to their tweets. You can visit our video tutorials that showcase how to use several web-based production tools. Of course, do as you can… and any contribution is most welcomed.


More Resources

AUDIO: Piece of Mind (KQED/Youth Radio)
Growing up, Youth Radio reporter Jahlil Jackson says he felt a lot of pressure to carry a gun. But he resisted the temptation by asking himself what’s at stake. “My friends ask me things like, ‘Why don’t you tote? You too scared to get a hammer?’” he says, “and quite frankly the answer is yes. I’m scared of losing my freedom. I’m scared of the effect the gun could have on my personality. And I’m scared of the thought of ending a person’s life.”

AUDIO: Here’s The Drill: Inside A School Lockdown (NPR/Youth Radio)
School lockdowns are designed to keep kids safe. By practicing for events like a school shooting, teachers and students should, in theory, be calmer and more prepared for an emergency. And yet lockdowns are also constant reminders that we live in a potentially dangerous world. First grade teacher Julia Gelormino, whose school regularly holds practice lockdowns, says that since the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, the drills have meant some really hard conversations with her first graders. “One my kids asked, what would happen if they shot through the door?” she said.

AUDIO: Castlemont High: One School’s Struggle With Daily Violence (NPR/Youth Radio)
At Castlemont High School, located in east Oakland, California, a group of teenagers is actively trying to prevent gun violence while simultaneously grappling with the frequent shootings in the neighborhood. “If I can wake up one day, walk outside with the possibility of getting shot at any point and time, that’s kind of nerve racking every day to do,” says 14-year-old Trevor Watson, one of the youngest members of the group.


This KQED Do Now segment was produced in collaboration with Youth Radio, the Peabody Award-winning youth-driven production company headquartered in Oakland, California. This post was written by Teresa Chin at Youth Radio.


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  • TexTopCat

    Now, when someone uses the term “gun violence” they have already missed the point. Gun violence, the act of using a tool to effect violence is neither something good or bad. In the case of a police officer (or armed citizen) that uses a gun to save his life or the life of an innocent person, gun violence is useful, good and necessary. In the case of gun violence being used by a violent criminal to commit a crime, that is very bad. We should always understand two things, one is that a gun is used many more times to prevent a violent crime than to commit one and second, the problem is “criminal violence”. Criminal violence is a problem whether the tool used is a gun or something else.

  • Russell Sperber

    “Gun violence poses a serious threat to U.S. teens and their communities.”

    No it doesn’t. It poses a serious threat to very specific communities. Whenever there is a murder in my fairly large city you can bet it’ll be located in one of about 4 communities.

    Until we admit that “gun violence” is isolated to a specific class (and yes, race) we’ll never really solve the problem.

    Additionally, some 80% of murderers (as well as victims) already have a criminal past, so this would be a great place to start investigating.

    • Barry Hirsh

      (Cue Graham Chapman) Sorry. Too logical, Next sketch…

  • Barry Hirsh

    So-called “gun violence”, reduced to its essence, is nothing more than “criminal violence”. To lump justifiable and lawful uses of guns into a deliberately misleading broad category is just plain dishonest.

    My community (neighborhood) has no problems with “gun violence”. 10 miles away, however, is a section of the “community” that has plenty of problems with “gun violence” because of the proliferation of CRIMINALS there.

    Criminals. Using guns. Not guns causing people to become criminals.

    “Liberals are people who stand on their heads and insist that the world is upside-down.” – El Rushbo

  • bronxbaby

    On January 1st 2015 my son jaylen was struck by a stray bullet in the chest while on our way to a family gathering, in the Bronx ny, my son would be 4yrs old as of March 14, 2015 medical cost and planning for his services are enough as to deal with him not with me anymore so close to my chunkies birthday I can only remember my son in the best of ways.
    https://m.gofund.me/o5g408

    • Barry Hirsh

      Butbutbut… I thought guns were ILLEGAL in NYC.

      How could that possibly HAPPEN?

  • Brandon

    Gun violence not only affects you but also affects your community because in some situations stores and businesses can lose customers and people from the community or other places due to violence . No citizens want to go to an community where there is gun violence which is understandable. Guns can also affect kids in many ways such as it can caused them bad dreams,they can be terrified to go places, and cause them too look at life in a different way. So it can affect a person not just physically but mentally and financially.

  • Courtney

    Fortunately I live in a community where gun violence is not prominent, however it does affect communities around mine. Young people are affected every day by gun violence and can even be a part of it. In order to reduce the amount of gun violence we need to reduce the conflicts that cause gun violence. Also the urge to want to participate in gun violence should also be eliminated, except there isn’t much that can be done about this. Young people can help reduce gun violence by NOT participating in it and getting others not to as well. If they don’t participate then they can break the cycle of violence so that generations behind them will see what is right and what is wrong. I don’t know if there is a good way to show kids that gun violence is wrong. I think they need to see the truth, they need to see what gun violence actually is and what it can do to people. They need to see reality. This is one of those things that can’t be “sugar-coated”, because if it is, it can be taken the wrong way, possibly in a way that would make them interested in gun violence and may seem appealing to them. Some things that can make teens interested in gun violence are: the very destructive and violent video games that act out gun violent scenarios, they may live in a home where gun violence is prominent, or may be emotionally disturbed or hurt that may cause them to want to veer towards violence. (Source: http://www.teenhelp.com/teen-violence/violence-causes.html ). Kids who are emotionally hurt turn towards guns to hurt themselves or even others. (Source : http://www.infozine.com/news/stories/op/storiesView/sid/61072/ )

  • Jessica

    I understand that there is a big issue with gun violence in our country, and specific communities within our country. Southern California and Detroit are communities that are hit hard by gun violence. I understand the need for gun, we have the right to bear arms and allowed to buy a weapon. There should however be a requirement for buying a gun. There should be a screening, such as like a outsource place one built or funded by the government specifically. This could in turn create more jobs for this third party to get checked out mentally if they are capable of buying a gun. It would possibly bring down gun violence and save lives in the process. If someone wants a gun badly, then a screening could be done to make sure they will not do any harm to there self or others. However these private sales are one of the issues with gun sales and regulation. It is an outsource place to buy guns not regulated by the FLL (Federally Licence Fire arm Dealer).

    • Nicole Barlik

      I agree. There should be some test to indicate if that person is qualified to buy a gun.

  • Nicole Barlik

    Gun violence has been a big issue lately. If its people coming into buildings hooting or murdering, it’s a very big issue. In my community, gun violence isn’t a huge topic to talk. It isn’t something that is brought up everyday, but just because it isn’t happening here it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Our government/community/world need to find a way to handle the amount gun violence that is being released everyday. Due to the law “the right to bear arms” people will argue I have the right. That’s why there should be more strict rules in buying a gun like background checks on the person or some way to indicate if this person is reliable on carrying a gun. Schools all around have gotten threats of shootings and some have occurred, which persuades us toward having stricter rules of buying a gun/weapon.

  • DevinForcier

    Gun violence affects communities everyday.People are constantly worried about being shot at or knowing that someone has been shot at. There has been only a few people who have been shot around my area so it isnt a very big topic around me. I believe people should have to get a background check to own a gun. I believe people who have a criminal background should not own a gun and people should get checked out before owning a gun. I believe we should talk more to people to be aware of there area and too teach them about what to do if they see any sort of gun violence. I believe people should have the right to own a gun. I believe that people should be allowed to carry a gun for protection. But only to use it when necessary. I believe that the people who flash around guns thinking there cool should not own a gun.

  • kaykaybri_123

    Gun violence does affect the community because it does worry other people in their daily lives. Like said it affects your emotional health. I think there should be a healthy fear of guns so later on in life they will recognize the fear as a child and not want to use guns unsafely.

  • kiaradlainey

    Gun violence affects our community because anyone is allowed to posses them. I feel young people can help in very few ways because now a days youth thinks guns are cool. Here in Florida anyone is allowed to go to the gun range. I feel we should put restrictions on who is allowed to even bear arms. If children are experiencing a gun shoot they should be ready hence forth have experienced the situation.

    • kaykaybri_123

      True

  • UrielM2020

    Most people abuse the power of guns and sometimes the case may be that they don’t even know how to properly use guns and may accidentally because too many people are allowed to own guns when really they shouldn’t be given that type of power, this is also why gun violence is such a common thing these days and it’s been spreading because of media.

    • kaykaybri_123

      not a great point

      • kiaradlainey

        smh!

  • Mya Destiny

    Gun violence affects our communities all most everyday. I have heard people yelling at each other and then ended up with violence like gun fire or throwing bottles. I am not sure if that really happened by it sounded like it. when young children heard this things gun or something that has to do with it. they can be afraid and may not want to go anywhere.

  • jasmincamacho

    young people can reduce the threat of gun violence by not fighting or arguing with other people and just find another way to deal with that problem. We can educate kids about the possibility of gun violence without causing them to live in fear.

  • Ares

    We should show our kids what to do in cause of a problem like this . Guns can affect peoples lifes it did to the girl in the video she was scared until she learned how to move on and stuff.

  • joaquin

    Kids should be taught that guns can cause death and how dangerous thay can be in any situation

  • Janine Bunag

    i think that gun violence is causing people to be afraid of them and their weapons.

  • jocajulao

    It doesn’t affect me since I don’t have gun violence, but my community would do an anti-gun violence program.

  • stephanie

    yes they should stop because fight is not nice

  • Hope

    it seems like every time I sit down and watch the news, the headlining story relates to gun violence. there is always a life being taken by a bullet, and there it will be plastered all over the news channels. gun violence is one of the biggest issues across the globe, and in my community. as people are finding easier ways of obtaining illegal firearms, the gun issues just keep growing. although creating laws against guns have been created, it hasn’t really helped solve the problem, and I am not sure there is an exact way to solve it. but to try and cut back, on gun production, make them harder to find or buy legally, and make more people aware of the issues guns bring to the table.

  • William Gil

    Gun violence is really affects in the community because it could make the people in the community feel unsafe and insecure.

  • Kelly Yee

    Gun violence affect me and my community by having an impact on us. We can’t really help reduce the threat of gun violence because it’ll happen anyways since it all depends on the wielder of the gun.

  • Jeremiah Bonifacio

    I live one block away from fist fighting violence and sometimes I hear aggressive argument. Also I do hear gunshots, but not all the time. I was scared and I want to move to a new house in the nice neighborhood, one problem is I can’t buy a new house because my family and I have trouble to save money to buy a new house.

    • Aaron lam

      i show it in the new

    • aj

      suuuuuup

  • aj

    gun violence is most of the serious things in the community because its dangerous,

  • Guest

    gun violence is good to me. its 2015, its kill or be killed no one is safe in this world anymore. pistol packin no lackin ima keep it on me please believe me. i keep my pistol on me at night, so i can see the daylight

  • khalil

    gun violence is good to me. its 2015, its kill or be killed no one is safe in this world anymore. pistol packin no lackin ima keep it on me please believe me. i keep my pistol on me at night so i can live to see the daylight, so i could live to see the day light

  • khalil

    fuck mahmoud

  • bendover

    i feel like gun violence is a part of life.

  • Gabrielle

    I feel like gun violence doesn’t really affect the community I live in now. But, I have family that lives in a more urban place and gun violence is more common but at the same time they need guns for protection because a lot of break in’s and crazy things happen that don’t really happen that much in suburban areas. So, yes I think that gun violence is a serious matter because a lot of innocent bystanders and people get hurt by it, but I don’t think guns should be made illegal because they can be very important for protection and self-defense. Guns should just not be given to people that are reckless or irresponsible.

  • Ben

    I feel like gun violence is a very American problem. We have the highest firearm-related death rate in the world. In some places a gun is needed to protect yourself from OTHER PEOPLE WITH GUNS. Where I live gun violence is not a big issue except in the fall of 2012. In the beginning of my sophomore year, a gunman barricaded himself in his home and killed an officer, the only officer to be killed in my city. I remember because I could see the helicopters hovering over the scene from my English class window. However, on a day-to-day basis, gun violence is not prominent and I am very grateful that I do not live in a place where I have to worry if I will be shot or worse have to shoot somebody.

  • Rob

    The area that I live in is one of the safer parts of the suburbs of Michigan, which I am extremely grateful for. I, thankfully, do not have to worry about gun fights in the streets of my neighborhood, nor possibly being threatened with a gun by students at my school. That, however, doesn’t mean that my community is impervious to gun violence. In the fall of 2012, a police officer was murdered by a man who called police to his home, stating he was going to attempt to take his own life. The shooting impacted my entire community. Thousands attended the vigil in his honor. The police department of my town still wear badges that have his detail number on them. A link to the full news article is posted below.

    I have always believed in my right to bear arms, something guaranteed to me by the Constitution of the United States. I would never think to harm another human being through gun violence. The media likes to attack the term “lone wolf attack,” but in the case of my community, it was just that: one man, acting alone, possibly mentally ill. I agree with my peers who have commented on this post saying, “There should be stricter policies to obtain guns.” but the fact of the matter is, if someone wants to purchase a gun, they will succeed. As much as it pains me to say, gun violence has become an innate characteristic of the society we live in. Taking guns off the shelves of sporting goods stores will just prompt an illegal underground market to spring up, like what happened in the Prohibition era with the ban of alcohol. I am grateful that gun violence is not prominent in my community, but at the same time frightened by how apart of us it really is.

    http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/story/19517215/police-talk-about-fallen-west-bloomfield-officer-standoff

    • Mae

      Hi Rob,

      Thank you for sharing your story and your ideas. For me, it really helps to illustrate the issues with guns and gun violence. You did a great job of voicing your opinions, and I think you are correct in many ways. I am also grateful to live in a safe community, but I know peers who have been affected by gun violence. I think that, as you stated, the violence affects us more than we think, even when it may not be widespread in our communitiies. Seeing the communities that are affected puts my own safety into perspective, but, as you said, can also be frightening because of how much we hear about it and how much of an issue it has become in today’s world.

      Thanks again!

      • Rob

        Thanks Mae,
        I appreciate the response!

  • JayJayW

    Gun violence affects the community because somebody could be killed by a stray bullet and they couldn’t have had nothing to do with the people with the gun. Younger kids could start to see that violence is the answer then they could turn to gun violence. #AJHSHardee

  • Alice Park

    Gun shots make people in fear, and they are very dangerous. It makes people unsafe. I believe that we can’t help reduce the threat of gun violence because war and hunting exists in this world. #AJHSHardee #DoNowCivics

  • Salem Cho

    I think gun violence produces an atmosphere of terror and threat of me and our society. I think our society has to prohibit the use of guns and sell the guns. If they use guns illegally, we have to take a severe measure against it. #AJHSHardee

  • Ke’Ayrious

    Gun violence affects our community because anyone is allowed to posses them. if u r responsible, it doesn’t but if you’re kinda….u know. then yes.

  • Chelsea

    I think gun violence can be one of the most terrifying things. It gives an atmosphere of fear and terror. Although the area that I live in is currently safe, anything could happen. Other neighbor hoods hear gun shots almost everyday. That a huge problem for children and teens. In the audio story above, Castlemont High school struggles with a daily violence. The teens at the high school here gun shots 3 times a week. The students walk around with terror and a huge amount a fear. CNN reports of teens dying almost every week because of gun violence. Most of the teens Today carry guns because the think it protects them. It is very important to educate students on how it’s not best to carry guns no matter how fearful they may be. It can cause a huge amount of trouble.

  • Nataliya

    Gun violence is a major problem in the United States. Due to the second amendment which is the right to bear arms, people have argued that they have a right to carry a weapon. In some ways, this could be extremely helpful when used to defend yourself and love ones from a threatening force. The flip-side is that guns can become a fatal weapon if given to the wrong people. People who carry guns on them have the possibility of becoming angry. So angry that their gun can be used for a pointless reason. This creates a sense of insecurity and fear in the community. The fear of what a gun generates can distort a child’s mind and ruin their childhood, causing them to grow up in fear.

  • Mae

    I think that gun violence is a serious issue today. Although I have never personally been affected by it, my school lost a student in an off campus shooting, and I know classmates who have seen it in their own lives (one peer of mine has mentioned a story similar to Maya Escobar’s). Young people can help to reduce the threat of gun violence by staying away from guns and by being aware, active, and willing in helping to keep their communities safe. In addition, I don’t think that there should be a time when we as minors would need to handle firearms. By avoiding guns, we can reduce the threat of gun violence. I believe that to educate children about the possibility of gun violence, we should let them know what to do if they happen to come into contact with it, as Escobar did, but also how to stay away from it in their own lives by avoiding weapons and focus on making choices to preserve safety.

  • Lindsey

    Thankfully, I do not live in an area where gun violence is a large threat. in 2002, there was an incident of gun violence in my community in which a police officer was killed. This, however, was the only officer ever killed in my community. Although I live in a suburb that has little history of gun violence, I see local news stories about shootings in Detroit daily. This is scary for me to thinking about, living almost an hour away. Living with that fear seems unbearable. According to the Children Welfare League of America, being exposed to these conditions can cause chronic trauma, resulting in inhibited brain development. These children tend to internalize their emotions which can later result in increased aggression and/or violence, hence furthering the likelihood of a violent community. Although I do support the right to bear arms, I believe the availability and access to guns in the United States has gotten out of hand.

    http://www.cwla.org/the-impact-of-gun-violence-on-children-families-communities/

  • Anthony

    I live in a community where gun violence is not a major issue. However, if I ever do hear gunshots nearby, I would be extremely alarmed. Everyone would suddenly be afraid to go outside and families could be in danger. I would not want to live in an area where I do not feel safe to walk around. No one wants to live in fear. My family does not own any firearms because we do not feel the need to have one, and I hope that I never have to fire a bullet in self defense.

  • Cheng

    Whenever I hear about the idea of gun shooting, I always feel threatened and uncomfortable. Fortunately, my community is one of the place where gun violence is not a big issue. When we hear about shooting in the news, friends around me will always talk about it. Although the gun violence rate has been decreasing recently, according to The Washington Post, there are more than 30000 victims every year. We need to take action against gun violence. Firearms should become more difficult to purchase because it has such a negative impact to our community.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2014/06/11/gun-violence-and-mass-shootings-myths-facts-and-solutions/

  • Rachel

    I can’t say that I have had any experience with gun violence. Still, it’s a popular and important issue in America, as well as in other parts of the world. There are thousands of deaths every year in the U.S. Many medical groups have claimed that gun violence has become a “public health crisis.” It has caused so many deaths, but it could, with time and resources, be preventable. Health organizations have come together to create a call to action, recommending several ways gun violence could lessened, and perhaps eventually eliminated. They have suggested background checks for firearm purchases, getting rid of “gag laws” that prevent physicians from speaking to their patients about guns, checking for mental health disorders, and banning assault weapons with large-capacity magazines, among other things. Just in general, there should be more awareness about gun safety. If kids were taught early on about guns, as they are about drugs, it could prevent them from abusing them in the future.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/24/guns-public-health_n_6747982.html?utm_hp_ref=shooting

    http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2151828

    • Ryan

      I totally agree with you. You made some very great points.

  • Tamia

    For me, gun violence isn’t an issue in my neighborhood, but I think its something that should be closely looked at. No one should be afraid to go out in their neighborhood because they are afraid of getting hurt. Everyone has the right to feel safe. Guns can be used for protection, but when used the wrong way can be very dangerous, scary and often deadly. I think its important to teach kids that guns are not a toy and aren’t to be touched. Guns are everywhere from the tv and the news. They are also made into toys to appeal to kids, and the toy guns often look way too similar to real guns.I have heard plenty of sad news stories about little kids who have gotten their hands on their parents gun and hurt themselves or even worse. Kids should learn about the dangers of guns because if they don’t, they could grow up wanting a gun, and then using it for something it shouldn’t be.

  • Drew

    Gun violence is not an issue in where I live. I live in a relatively wealthy area where people are educated. So gun violence is basically non existent. I believe that in places where people are educated and have a high income, violence is not an issue. However other areas around me do have a lot of violence where guns are a problem and there is not a strong or very responsive police force. I believe that if we want gun and general violence to start going down at all, we need to fund these cities with proper well performing police departments instead of having really good police departments in places that really do not have a need for a strong police force.

  • Olivia

    I think

  • vincent stevens

    i believe gun violence is a real serious problem and needs to be resolved as soon as possible in order to keep our community safer than it already. Deaths in Joliet, Illinois are becoming non relevant issue because people are not surprised by another death involving gun violence

  • Ryan

    Gun Violence is not a big issue where I live, but I still think that it is a very serious issue. Some people live in a place where they hear gun’s going off every week, and that can cause them to change based on what happens in their community. People shouldn’t be scared and fear for their lives in their own community, much less their own home. This issue needs to be resolved soon, people should not go through this and I feel bad for the people that have to endure this kind of behavior in their community/neighborhood.

  • Izzy Bohanek

    I am very fortunate to live in an area where gun violence is not a major issue, however, I still believe it is a very important topic to talk about. The way gun violence is shown in movies as “cool” and exhilarating is far from a real life situation. Children/teens are seeing gun violence through this perspective, making them oblivious to what actually happens. Because of this reason, I believe it should be talked about and not have a sparkling image of something it is clearly not. Talking to kids can make them live in fear, which is why we should not make gun violence something false through the shows/movies. When they are of age and mature, we then should talk about the safety precautions they should take.

  • Mariana

    Personally, I have never experienced or witnessed gun violence in my area. However, I do believe that there are higher rates of gun violence in densely populated regions. This is an issue that should not be taken lightly. I lost a peer to gun violence last year. The school and community grieved over the loss of his presence. As a whole, we can educate the younger audience about gun violence and the impact it has on people. By teaching the younger generations, we can help prevent gun violence and help them cope with losses.

  • JUSTIN SKLAR

    Although gun violence is rampant in certain communities, and rare in others, reducing gun violence in the country is more important now than ever. Many people rally as anti-gun activists, and others (including myself) are pro-gun. Most other countries don’t have to deal with the day to day violence that some communities see on a daily basis, and therefore it is important to allow open and concealed carry in (certain) public places. I have never experienced a shooting, but I have seen a robbery involving weapons. I also am an avid sport shooter, which makes my opinion bias towards topics such as concealed carry. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-09-20/opinion/chi-20130920-casey_briefs_1_gun-violence-mass-shootings-great-britain

  • Chrissi

    I can personally say that I have heard gunshots multiple times in numerous years, so much that I can decipher the difference between them and firecrackers. Also I witnessed a violent shooting in the area that I live in and at the time of that incident I was very young. It did leave me, my siblings, and my mother fearful for an amount of time and we were also hesitant to go or be outside for a prolonged period. Based off this alone, I can say that since then I feel as if gun violence has gotten worse or maybe it’s just more broadcast, with the wide use of technology and news sources. As someone who still lives in one of these communities and is affected by gun violence, and lost a family member to it there should be more efforts done to counter this problem. And I agree with those that have stated that it should be harder to attain weapons, however that will not be the solution to this ongoing problem.

  • gunter orear

    I grew up in a city riddled with gun violence and i remember being very scared a lot of the time. Almost every night i heard gunshots and on the way home from school one day i witnessed a police officer chasing down a shirtless guy with a gun. I lived in a nice neighborhood and went to a private christian school, but my city/ community was very different. Gangs would come in and sweep nice houses including mine. My family and I are gun owners and we strongly support the 2nd amendment. I do not believe that guns kill people, its people who kill people. Most shootings in my community were gang related and the people involved were uneducated fools toting illegally purchased firearms. I believe that laws on purchasing firearms should be more strictly enforced, but banning guns would be totally ridiculous. If gangs are already illegally purchasing firearms then what good would it do to ban them from everyone? Guns protect people, not kill them. A good family friend of ours woke up one night to a loud argument occurring right outside his door on his property. He had a handgun and saw that one of the arguing men did too. He walked outside with his pistol and told them to leave before things got “bad”. If he had not had a firearm on him he could have been hurt by the man who did. To come to a conclusion, i believe that if the community can protect themselves against gun violence, then maybe the violence could be reduced. If we send a message to the gangs out there saying we aren’t just wimpy civilians, maybe they’ll rethink running all over us. #DoNow #AJHSHardee

  • Sydney H

    Gun violence is not a major issue in my community. In some communities it is. The main reason the U.S. has issues with ‘gun violence’ is due to racial issues and crazy people. People like to see what they can get away with and call it ‘racist’ if they are blamed. I am not ok with that. On the other hand there are people that are mentally ill and that should never have the possession of a gun. I think that is the problem our country lets certain people get away with certain things and it gets out of control and out of hand.Its not the guns’ fault its the person pulling the trigger.

  • jenna

    I can not say I have ever been personally involved with gun violence, but on occasion in my community it has occurred and affected others around me. I think as a whole the youth cannot do anything about people who choose to use guns for violence unless they tried to change gun laws or just educated people more on the scenario. Personally, I believe anyone who would use a gun is mentally ill even in the least bit, and therefore would be hard to stop them unless we changed the laws for concealing and carrying. Also, I feel the way to educate students is to go over any drills or information about gun violence because most likely they will not live in fear and it will help them be protected in a bad situation.

  • Jack

    America doesn’t have a gun violence problem, it has a #BlackViolence problem

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Youth Radio is the Peabody Award-winning youth-driven production company headquartered in Oakland, California. For more Youth Radio stories and lesson ideas, check out www.youthradio.org .

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