Seven years ago, I stood in my kitchen in Columbus, Ohio, shaking with anger and fear. I stared at a bullet hole in our wall that was located just a foot below the room where my infant son slept. The gunshots from a rowhouse kitty-corner to our duplex were an ongoing ordeal by January 2017, but this was different. I felt violated, threatened and helpless: How could we make our home and neighborhood feel safe again? The apex of the conflict came in April 2017, when three men were shot on the back porch of the rowhouse; one died. The household that triggered the violence was evicted from their apartment soon after the murder. This was a family with young kids, and I often wonder where they are today.
While I can relegate these experiences to dark memories, for these children, the trauma of violence and their inability to remove themselves from dangerous situations is a daily, inescapable reality. I have little experience with gun violence, but the little I do have convinced me of how traumatic and harmful it is, particularly to children. I want to do what I can to end gun violence.