Losing Someone To Gun Violence


A student creates and holds up a poster in protest to end gun violence.

Marc'l Destin, Contributer

Every day in the U.S., eleven children are killed or injured by gun violence according to the CDC. Gun violence doesn’t only harm them physically, they are also harmed when a family member or friend is killed by a gun, when someone they know is shot, when they witness or hear gunshots. I should know. My friend Christopher Reels was shot last year in February.

Reels was a 16-year-old junior in high school, who although he had a criminal past, he never had a record for gun violence until he got into a fight. Reels was a son, a friend, a loved one, and a companion. Reels was in a gang and an altercation broke out. Reels was fighting with another teen, who was armed. Once Reels realized a gun was involved, he attempted to run away, but was shot in his back. This was a painful experience for me. Losing someone due to the lack of gun control is devastating.

In America, 4.6 million children live in homes with at least one gun that is loaded and unlocked. Over the past decade, the firearm suicide rate among children and teens has increased by 66 percent in America. Gun violence has a negative impact on children and teens in the U.S., affecting their psychological and mental well-being, school performance, and school safety. When homes, neighborhoods, and schools are not safe, entire generations of American children are affected, according to CNN News, “Gun violence has affected most families in the US.”

Unbelievably, the Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, has changed the gun concealed carry laws. By passing and signing House Bill (HB) 543 into law, he allows Floridians to carry concealed weapons without a government-issued permit. HB 543 goes into effect on July 1, 2023, making Florida the 26th state to enact this type of Constitutional Carry legislation. Florida does not require a permit to purchase a firearm nor is there a permit that exempts any person from the background check requirement. Any person over the age of 18 can purchase a gun without a permit.

Things need to change in America. A teen shouldn’t have possession of a gun at all. We should have strict gun laws in the world. Having an unregistered gun without a license should be illegal. Florida citizens need to vote out these gun laws so we can stop losing loved ones over gun control.

Reels might still be here if Florida had stricter gun laws. The legislation kills people due to its lack of rights. We need protection against these laws, so people don’t live in fear. Many are losing people they love over a law that can be prevented.