The Times We Hurt Most

by  , Youth Reporter

Imagine coming home, watching some television and then going to lie down for a nice sleep.

And without warning: Bang!

Outside my window at night all I hear are gunshots! And I’m not talking about celebratory gunshots like you hear on the 4th of July.

These are gunshots that are killing people – killing people for not much of anything.

Can I ever turn on the news in the morning and not hear that someone else has been shot? Is this possible? Does anyone know the answer?
It has become an everyday thing. Teens are shot outside of their schools, their houses, and at the parks. I mean where can we go? It’s said the shootings are because of gangs but not everyone is in a gang.

Young kids aren’t in gangs. Honor roll students aren’t in gangs. But they’re often the ones dying.

Does this make sense to you?
The violence in our communities has become a thorn in the side of everyone who lives in them. People are afraid to sit outside at night, worrying that gunshots might put a stake in the heart of their future.

“It’s just too much going on out here,” said Lorraine Hawkins, a 56 year old longtime resident in the Humboldt Park neighborhood, “It gets to a point where you get used to gunshots; you grow “immune to the cries.”
Is this how our people feel? Are we truly becoming immune to the cries? I’m not immune. I’m not used to the gunshots.

You want to know what I am though. I’m fed up. Fed up to the highest possible point. How can we believe that it is possible to become immune to the cries? Are we that naive? Are we that heartless?

Wake up and drink some coffee. It is not acceptable to say you are “immune to the cries” in our community.

Talking to my 3 year old brother, I learned that little kids are worried too.

I took time and asked him how he felt about the “bang bang” he hears at night. He answered with one word: “scared”.

And it shocked me because I didn’t think that little kids understood what all this meant but they do. They are just as afraid as everyone else in the community.

Ask yourself: are you immune to three year olds going to bed every night scared?
Just at my school alone we’ve had several threats that people were coming to “shoot us up”. We should be learning, right? Not leaving school in fear of being shot. And don’t you think that students will have second thoughts about coming back to school the next day?

“I think that all this violence in our schools is affecting the way we think.” said Miekel Smith, a senior at Collins, “My friends are getting to the point where they don’t even want to come to school.”
In a country where education is key, why aren’t students protected? Because for those people who think we are, they are horribly wrong. We are not protected when you have students that don’t want to go to school because of gang violence. Is our education really as valuable as they say?

You tell me.
It’s time we take a stand. We, as in the teens of the community. The future of our nation. Let’s do it. Let’s stand up and show these murderers that we are not going to sit back and accept the fact that our friends are dying.

It’s time to show everyone we are not immune to this horrible thing called murder. And don’t believe that there aren’t people out there to help you because there are.

There is an anti-violence center for youth.

The name of it is Center on Halsted, located at 3656 N. Halsted. It provides a place to talk about the problems in the community and do something about them. The number is (773) 472-6469.

Take time and call this place; find a way to take action. Or, you could just become immune.

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