BANG! A shot shatters the silence of night and tears open the chest of a 16 year old boy.
His body hits the sidewalk that he walked for the majority of his life.
The pavement that his feet pounded as he walked by his mother’s side coming to and from the corner store, outside which his body lay.
Eyes open, gazing at the stars one more time before he joins them in the heavens.
Trying to breathe but breaths are hard to come by and the ones he can catch are shallow and just not enough.
He’s fighting to keep his eyes open, like a child at bedtime insisting that he’s not tired, not ready for bed but his will isn’t strong enough and he finally has to succumb to his heavy eyes and just rest.
BANG! A mother jumps from her sleep, it wasn't a bad dream she just felt something wasn't right. She can’t put her finger on but the anxiety soon fills her mind.
The phone rings.
Her heart is in her throat. She can only manage a simple “hello” when she picks up the receiver.
A voice began talking but all she heard was “son” and “dead.”
The other words seemed so inconsequential when the fear that she’s had since the day she gave birth to a baby boy came true.
She knew that raising a black son in Chicago let alone America was a dangerous job but she was up for it.
Now all she can think about is how she let her son down.
She can’t bear the weight of her failure to protect her baby boy so she drops down to her knees and weeps, and calls out to God with her interrogation.
Where were you?
How could you let this happen?
Why my son?
Why now, he was only 16?
What am I supposed to do now?
BANG! Two teenagers not much older than the one on the ground, stand over the boy they shot feeling resolution.
They had always seen guns used to resolve conflict, so they followed suit.
A minor school confrontation over a hat ends in a blood stained block.
They watched him go into the store then come out, and then they let the shots ring out.
BANG! BANG! BANG! It is Newtown everyday in these streets. Our children are being gunned down, not in an elementary school but to and from school and while playing in the park.
There were 500 homicides in 2012 but 30 people die in a elementary school so we have to change gun laws.
Either way, we have children dying.
What are we going to do about it?