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A Philly Girl’s Perspective on Gun Violence

Growing up in Philadelphia, guns have always meant something different to me. My freshman year at SU, my Writing and Thinking professor brought up the issue of gun control. A young man in my class stated that he is pro-gun because he believes they are for protection and he doesn’t want to give up his right to hunt. “Where I live, people are the ones that get hunted” I responded as the class entered an awkward silence. Immediately my mind went back to my senior year of high school when both my cousin and a childhood friend were killed in the crossfire of guns.

During my childhood, Philly was known as “Killadelphia”, a homage to its high homicide rates. Children and the elderly, as well as other innocent civilians, are left at the mercy of those who possess the deadly weapons. I can vividly remember listening out in the summer time, trying to decipher whether the popping sounds in the streets were gunshots or firecrackers.

With school shootings in the headlines almost every month, there is no denying that there is a problem. Gun culture in America is at all time high. From song lyrics to video games; guns are an ever-present part of our society. Cities like Chicago, where the violence seems to never end, cause many to question if gun control laws even work. The topic of gun control stems conversations about race, mental illness and police brutality. But at the end of the day, why does someone have the right to hold another’s life in their hands? Where is the humanity? Whether you agree with the right to bear arms or not, the reality is that people are being murdered.

This is not an argument, this is the perspective that may be different than your own. The perspective of a young woman who grew up around guns. In my neighborhood guns were not used for recreation, but as a matter of life and death.

Hanifah Jones is a Junior Communications Major with a minor in Studio Art currently studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa.
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