As I was entering high school, my family got a home in a beautiful, seemingly quiet neighborhood in Frayser. During the day, all the neighbors were kind, and everywhere I walked felt safe. Then came the night. My Mom worked at night. Gunshots blasted constantly. My younger brother, sister and I could barely sleep. We told our Mom for fear that we would never wake up if we slept. She cried. I told myself to work hard to never have to live in a place that turned to a nightmare at night.
Then one day, in my seemingly safe neighborhood, with nice homes and diverse and caring neighbors, shots rang out. We were not in our home. The gun was in my son’s and my face, at a place we frequent often. We barely missed being shot.
The hard work felt like a waste. We didn’t escape. I still cry as I write these words. Violence has taken away all hope to live peacefully. Where can we go to live without fear of dying simply by living? I’ve been told, “You need to get a gun.” Why do so many share their anger, frustration and fear with guns?