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.

With respect,


Letters to the Next President: Stop Gun Violence 20 January,2017Ryan Levi

  • Hillary Clintub

    While they’re at it, they oughta tell the President to stop knife violence, lead pipe violence, fist violence and golf club violence, too. They could demand that he stop animals from eating other animals and pooping on the carpet, as well.


Ryan Levi

Ryan Levi is a reporter and producer at KQED News and the host of the weekly Q’ed Up podcast. Ryan started at KQED as an intern where he reported on-air and online for The California Report, The California Report Magazine and KQED’s daily newscasts. Prior to joining KQED in 2016, Ryan was a general assignment reporter and producer at KBIA-FM, the NPR member station in Columbia, Missouri. Ryan reported on Columbia’s renewed fight against homelessness as well as coordinating the station’s coverage of the annual True/False Film Fest, one of the top documentary film festivals in the country. Ryan has also written about film, food, books, religion, theater and other topics for various publications. You can find Ryan on Twitter @ryan_levi.

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