Thursday, November 27, 2008

New Years Shootings

Gary Thomas
Pershing High School

If I could stop New Years shootings, I would try my hardest to do so. There are a lot of ideas I have in my head on how I would stop it. Many people are into shooting on New Years Night and look forward to it as a holiday "tradition".

First, I would ask for many people's opinion on how they feel about changing it. There are a lot of changes that can be made depending on their feelings. I hate to see things happen that are not meant to happen.

My thoughts on people shooting on New Years Night is really nothing to write about. I have been around the shootings most of my life. Things can definately be changed. I think strongly that I can be a part of that change.

My changes consist of working with organizations, clubs, leadership programs, etc. The programs would explain how many children and adults get killed unintentionally. The people who participate in the shooting obviously don't understand what can happen.

Last but not least, I think I can change the tradition with my ideas. I will try to make that happen. I will focus on a change, if not everywhere, then at least in my community. People will understand some how where I'm coming from.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Time for A Change

Shaniqua Madison
Catherine Ferguson Academy

Have you ever been that little child who stayed up all night because you was scared that a bullet might come through the window at 12 a.m. on New Years Morning. Many children not only suffer with these same thoughts, but some actually die from things like this. The Hugs Not Bullets Campaign is here to prevent this from happening again. This campaign is trying too stop the shooting on New Years Day. Many people may think this is stupid and a waste of time, but just think about it. What if your little brother, sister, or even your child came to you crying because they’re scared that a bullet might come through a window. You as the older sibling or parent will tell them that it’s okay and to go to bed. A couple hours later you go to see if they’re sleep and you find them dead because of a bullet came through the window. Imagine the pain you’ll feel. Now imagine the pain people are actually going through from a situation like this. This is all because people want to shoot on New Years for the fun of it not even realizing the pain it may cause others. The Hugs Not Bullets campaign is here to prevent that. We feel that children and parents should not have to fear what might happen on New Years Day. Yeah, New Years is a time to celebrate, but not when it comes to someone’s life. So if you feel the importance of keeping someone from experiencing this pain, join this campaign because it’s time for a change.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Solutions To The Gun Violence Epidemic

Jasmine Dixon
Westside Academy

I’m a 17 year old Detroit Public High School Student surviving in a violent environment. Although gun violence happens most of the time, it is not the only violence I am subjected to. Within the last few months, at my school alone, we have had three students listed in critical condition from gunfire. In the United State, there were 64,319 people that died from gunfire over the last thirteen years. You should make a stand right now and show us you care. Show us that you’re ready for a change.

Guns are easily accessible. They are sometimes left unsecured in our homes, and more times than not, within arms reach in our neighborhoods. Just because the neglect or lack of responsibility does not rest solely on your shoulder, doesn’t mean you’re not contributing to the problem. Simply saying “NO” and taking even the smallest of actions can save someone’s life. People have purchased guns to feel safe and to protect their families. However, when ignorance has a stronger presence than responsibility and knowledge, not only is a false sense of security born but yet another opportunity for senseless gun violence. Let’s not make it easy for our society of young adults to succumb to peer pressure. Instead, teach us how to follow your lead, and to lead by example as well.

As a teen I know what it’s like to be under peer pressure. I know now how to say “NO” and I want to challenge my peers to say “NO” as well. Most teens are afraid of being rejected and of not having friends. But if we don’t stand against gun violence now, it will only become more difficult to make and keep friends. Just as the gun violence epidemic didn’t evolve over night, neither will a resolution. But we have to start somewhere with someone, so why not right here with you.

-In 1996 the most recent year for which data are available, 34,040 people died from gunfire in the United State.
-Homicides involving firearms have been the leading cause of death for African American males age 15 to 19 since 1969.
-In 2005, there were only 143 justifiable homicides by private citizens using handguns in the United State.
-Each year during 1993 through 1997, an average of 1,621 murderers who had not reached their 18th birthdays took someone’s life with a gun.

Personal Responsibility: It's Up To Us

Mariama McGhee
UPREP High School

Hugs Not Bullets is a campaign led by young people who want to celebrate New Years Eve without hearing any gunshots. It’s important for them to have fun and hug their loved ones without having to duck every time a neighbor pulls the trigger. Unfortunately, there are people who do not think of the kids. They only think about themselves.

This campaign is also for the communities residing in metropolitan Detroit. Gun violence has affected our happy homes in more ways than one. Some adults are using guns irresponsibly, while teens are using them to solve their problems. Seeing all of this would make you think that everyone here has lost their mind. Apparently, some have while the rest are simply troubled.

There was a time when we solved problems without having to use violence and now that kind of solution no longer seems to exist. A few months ago a group of students were shot by someone who also had help from the son of a police officer. One died while the rest were wounded. Apparently there was some kind of “beef” going on and the boy decided to gun down his enemy. Even the children of heroes are hurting others.Justify Full

As you can see this campaign is our bright light to the future. We want to create a world where our children can live happily. If we don’t start convincing people to lower their weapons, then there won’t be a future. I’m part of the next generation so it’s still my duty to help build everyone’s future. If you ever read this remember that there are people who care for your well being.