Gun Violence

by Downer

Guns played a detrimental part in my life because for a long time, that was my only understanding on how to deal with my issues and problems that I encounter on the streets. Guns were always perpetuated, as “that’s how you handle business”. This ideology ultimately led me to commit murder in gang violence because I wanted to be respected, accepted, and powerful. That ‘genius’ way of thinking cost me seventeen years and counting, of my life at the age of fteen.

My response to the popular pro-gun expression of “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” is a sinister way to keep the focus off the guns.

There are a number of ways to kill someone without using guns so when a person is shot with a gun, that bullet(s) is the main reason why that person(s) is dying or hurting.

I also think that race plays a huge part in that expression and why so many Americans are pro 2nd Amendment.

My personal opinion, one out of ten African Americans, don’t quote me by the numbers, just an opinion but one out of ten African Americans are eligible to apply and receive a gun permit in order to obtain a license to carry a registered weapon. 90% of that one out of ten are probably female, maybe the numbers are a little better, but I base that number on the amount of black men that have served time in jail on any level and the ones who currently are doing time. This makes them ineligible to carry a licensed weapon.

You look at the makeup of the jail, prison population; African Americans and Latinos dominate the prison system and because of that; what I think is there is a negative stigma attached to black and Latino men by some of white America that they’re the most dangerous groups and there is an imminent to protect oneself no matter the race.

The sad part about this is, blacks and Latinos are committing more violent crimes against each other and one another as opposed to harming white America. I could be extremely wrong about this but I think that the reason why white America is so pro-gun stems from all the horrible acts committed during slavery and the civil rights movement and during the civil rights movement that the blacks and whites were separated and segregation was pushed with abuse, all that brought about black nationalist groups who said that enough was enough and they fought back in a way that “the man” didn’t respect and understand; the little that did improve, so I think that for white America in particular, the biggest fear is that someday, blacks and Latinos will stop targeting each other and one another and look their way and they feel the need to be prepared if that ever happens and this why people and guns kill people.

San Quentin and prison in general had and some still have a notorious reputation back in the’80s and one of the common themes from stories I’ve heard is the number of sexual assaults and suicides by prisoners. I personally feel that almost no one alive should endure the physical, mental, and emotional pain during and long after a sexual assault in a men’s prison. I have no idea what that’s like but I can imagine that it is a very traumatic and horrible experience that can possibly lead an individual to commit suicide, endure more bad experiences, or in ict pain on others as it was felt.

The most signi cant turning point in my life was when I made the decision to stop gang banging. It came at a very young age, because of a lack of loyalty which in my opinion, is the most cherished “street code” or street law in the game, period. After coming to a devastating realization that I basically gave up my life for nothing, made my decision much easier, but I also developed ill feelings towards my “hood” and the people in it. I found it very embarrassing to even be associated with being a gang member along with the feeling of being played and taken advantage of. I know for certain had I stayed involved with the gang despite of disloyalty, it would’ve made me bitter, angry, and beyond rehabilitation and probably a strong possibility of dying in jail and succumb to the normality of prison, i.e. using and selling drugs regularly, stabbing and hurting people to gain “stripes”, pushing and enforcing prison politics in order to hurt fellow prisoners of all races, starting riots, and corrupting the younger prisoners. Developing that early insight and then understanding all that was listed above could’ve been my future in the name of destructions, along with betrayal. I called it quits because I know that my life and the lives of others are much more important and valuable to each other, our community, and society. I needed to break the cycle before it was all the way too late.