Leading up the inauguration, The California Report magazine is airing letters from California teenagers to the incoming president. They’re some of the more than 12,000 letters collected as part of a collaboration between KQED and the National Writing Project. You can search all the letters by topic here.
Our final letter comes from Raquel, a senior at Camino Nuevo Charter Academy in Los Angeles.
Dear Future President,
Guns are a big problem in my community. When I go home it seems like there are guns everywhere. I go to the store and around the corner, there’s a man or a woman selling illegal guns.
Guns kill people daily where I come from, and they will continue to kill unless we make stricter gun laws. Gun violence causes collateral damage in our neighborhoods. It’s not just gang members and criminals that are in the line of fire, but people I go to school with — it’s a child who happens to be on the wrong patio on the wrong night.
Today, there are as many guns in the U.S. as there are people. This is simply unacceptable. We need to look to other countries who have successfully kept gun violence under control.
Please know that in our communities, guns have ruined us. They have killed us, and we cannot continue to allow this to happen. Families are asking that you help put an end to this, help us make the U.S. a safer place for everyone.