Breonna Taylor Is on Young Gun Activists’ Minds As They Fight for Change | #socialmedia | #children


Dear Breonna,

It’s been one year. One year since you were taken by police gun violence. A year since your family, friends, colleagues, and others lost a bright light. And a year since we lost another Black woman with dreams, ambitions, and her whole life in front of her.

You were taken too soon, like too many others. Atatiana Jefferson. Korryn Gaines. Michelle Cusseaux. And so many others whose names we don’t even know. Your death wasn’t the first to wake us up and remind us what it means to be a Black woman in the United States, but it was different. Things changed when we heard your story.

It’s unbelievable that it’s already been a year since your death, but perhaps that’s because the nation didn’t learn who you were until months later — something that happens too often after Black people are shot and killed, particularly by police. We learned of your death and took to the streets, social media, and any other platform we could to say your name and tell your story.

Too often the rage about police violence is concentrated and fleeting. The broader conversation only lasts a short period of time. Maybe it’s days. Maybe weeks. Maybe months if we are lucky. But for us, it’s different. As young Black women, we hold your story in everything we do. We see you and your dreams in ourselves.

In the past year, we have taken our anger and pain and turned them into action. We registered voters, even though many of us are still too young to vote ourselves. We led our friends, peers, and communities in an effort to prevent what happened to you from happening to anyone else. We raised awareness about the gun violence and the police violence crises — both of which disproportionately affect Black people in the United States.

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For as long as we can remember, we’ve been scared we might be the next victim of senseless gun violence. And it’s more than just gun violence in schools; we are fighting against all kinds of gun violence, including police shootings, gun homicides in cities, gun suicides, and domestic violence in our homes.

Every day in our country, more than 100 people die from gun violence and more than 230 are shot and wounded, according to Everytown for Gun Safety. But for far too long, many of our so-called leaders have only offered thoughts and prayers in response to this preventable crisis. And for many young Black women, gun violence is personal. An Everytown report cited CDC data that found Black children and teens are 14 times as likely as our white peers to die by gun violence nationwide, and firearms are the leading cause of death for children and teens in the United States.

With COVID-19, we have seen again how systemic racism and inequalities have created another public health crisis that takes a disproportionate toll on Black communities. The underlying reason is clear: Decades of underinvestment in these neighborhoods have created the environments in which public health crises, like COVID-19 and gun violence, thrive.

That said, there has been progress in the past year. There are gun sense champions in the White House and many gun sense lawmakers in both chambers of Congress. The House of Representatives just passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which would take several initial but necessary steps to address police brutality, racial profiling, and other fundamental problems in our law enforcement system. And on Thursday, other life-saving gun safety measures passed in the House of Representatives, including legislation to require background checks on all gun sales, and to close the “Charleston loophole,” which allows gun sales to move forward without the necessary background check. Legislation to close the deadly dating partner and stalker loopholes has also been introduced in the House. In state houses around the country, volunteers with Students Demand Action have been advocating for gun safety, and there is still more work to do.



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