March 20, 2018

Gun Violence is Not Just a Black Issue

By Shana Berryman

Gun Violence is not just a Black issue. The Marshall shooting, that was not just a black issue. The Parkland shooting, that was not just a black issue. People treat shootings differently based on the race of the shooter.

My friends and I have lost more than 17 community friends and classmates in the past 2 years, and the rate is increasing. But because it happens in the Black community, and lower income neighborhoods, the problem is ignored. When they hear about a black person shooting, they say “Oh I’m used to that.”

When people hear about a white person shooting, they seem shocked. Yet, school shooters are mostly white males. We shouldn’t say that when a white person fires a gun in a school, it’s due to mental illness and when a black person does it, he’s a monster. We need to see the humanity in everyone.

Gun violence starts at home. Kids don’t get the guns at school; they bring them from home. School leaders can only do so much to prevent these problems. It helps, however, for students and teachers to build strong relationships. Teachers need to make bonds with students in order to keep an eye on students.

You never know what a kid is going through. The student who brought the gun to our school posted a message on social media about how upset he was about losing his mom, and maybe that was a warning that he was going to hurt himself, but hindsight is 20/20. I feel bad for the kid. He made a bad choice, and he will have consequences, but I still feel sad for him.

People are judging other people more than they ever did, not just in high school but in general. And that goes back to living styles.Some people can’t afford to live like you can. And some people can’t change themselves because of where they’re at. Nowadays, it feels that adults either just don’t care about the pressure youth face, or maybe they don’t even know.

It’s hard to talk to friends that you see making bad choices. You can tell them hundreds of times, but they still won’t listen. They often don’t care that the stuff that they are doing are hurting people and it’s very sad to see and hear.

People need to listen more often. There can be signs that a person is giving off that they’re going through something. If people are acting a certain way that they don’t usually act every day, pull them aside! Ask them why! You have no idea what a person could be going through or gone through. We have to listen to each other more and show that we care.

These remarks were deliverd at the March For Our Lives Kentucky Rally organized by the Student Voice Team on the steps of the capitol in Frankfort on March 20, 2018.

Shana Berryman

Shana Berryman

Shana Berryman is a former member of KSVT. She graduated from Frederick Douglas High School in 2018