I was watching TV when my mom got up to get a phone call. I saw the look on her face, and I knew something was wrong. I asked her if everything was okay, and she said yes, so I was not bothered. Soon she had changed her clothes. I asked her where she was going, and she told me something I will never forget: she said that my cousin had gotten shot. I felt my heart drop. After a few days we found out he was okay and he was going to live.
As I am getting older, I see this happen all the time on the news. I see people not just defending themselves, but shooting others just because they want to. I know that this is not right. Innocent people are getting shot. Sometimes those people did something wrong, but that is still no reason to kill innocent African Americans. I know that this is not right. We as a people have equality, and we should be able to trust one another. I believe we can make a change. All of us in a community must stand up for what’s right. I know that this would not fix gun violence, but it would help stand against it.
How people could help is by organizing a march or making YouTube videos. Many people do this for other causes, and it makes a difference. Helping stop gun violence is really important to me. This happens so often that I can share another time when someone from my family got shot, this time in Atlanta. In the time period of my life, I have never seen someone get shot and would not want to. But I have to wake up every day knowing that my family is in danger. Seeing my family affected in this way has changed me, and I feel that it has made me a stronger girl with my own opinions. I want to be a leader, not a follower.
I know and respect Quaker SPICES, and I go to a Quaker school and love it there. One of the most important values is equality. When cops and other people have control of guns and use them in the wrong way, it shows that they don’t take equality seriously. Being in a Quaker community, I know that it’s possible to make really positive change. I feel that I cannot take watching the news and reading the newspaper and seeing more deaths without doing something about it.
This subject has changed my life. I have to stand up for what’s right and what needs to be done. I have always had this urge to speak out for what I believe, and I feel this is the time to do so nonviolently because there is enough violence in the world already, especially gun violence. I have participated in marches before, and sometimes peaceful marches help. This is something that I really believe in and very much want to change.