By Stephanie Valencia ’17
On November 1st 2009, I woke up to my cousin Jenny crying and telling me to get dressed; as I got dressed she came over and told me everything was going to be alright. I was in 5th grade, and it was the morning after Halloween. Arriving to Masonic hospital, me and my little cousin Kayla sat in the lobby, heads filling up with endless possibilities of what could have happened. Finally, I saw my dad walking down the lobby, eyes bloodshot.
I asked what happened. He tried to change the subject. I asked again. He looked at me and told me, “Mija there’s been an accident… Frankie is dead.”
My brother was 21 when he was shot and killed due to gang violence. No, he was not a gang member but an innocent bystander.
Gang and gun violence not only affect the gang members but the family and friends as well; something needs to be done.
The first place to start is to create stricter gun laws in Chicago and all around the United states. According to the New York Times, “In the United States, the death rate from homicides is 31 per million people.” Also, “even if France had a mass shooting as deadly as the Paris attacks every month, its annual rate of gun homicide death would be lower than that in the United States.” How do the people of the united states not see that gun violence is a major issue in our country?
People who are against stricter gun laws believe that stricter gun laws violate the second amendment, which is the right to bear arms. What they fail to realize is that the same guns they are keeping at home are the same guns that turn up at homicides and school shootings. According to the New York Times, “the senate voted on Thursday to reject the expansion of more background checks before purchasing a gun.” The senate voted against stricter background checks because it would be harder for the government to suspect that people are terrorists. Although the senate thinks it is doing this for the good of the country, the country as whole still needs stricter gun control. Stricter gun control would even decrease the number of terrorist attacks.
The gun that killed my brother was not bought legally. It was an illegal gun that was in the hands of a bad person. If there had been stricter gun laws, if there had been programs that help gang members get out of gangs, my brother would still be here today.