Shots Heard Around the World
By Samra Amir

September 2006
We all know what they are, most of us have seen one on TV, a few of us have held them with our hands, and only the truly unfortunate have been forced to look down the barrel of one. Gun violence in our society is becoming the worst thing possible; a norm. Words that fall on our ears about those shot to death, no longer have the effect they used to. A quick moment of pity, and it’s on to the next thing. What -or who- is to blame for leading our community down this path? What damage have these weapons done?

The not-so-old releases of violent video games have inspired teens of both genders to copy their character’s violent acts…in real life. These video games introduce youngsters to many things other than guns; such as street gangs, obscene language, and not to mention the finer aspects of stealing things like jewellery, electronics, and of course, cars. It teaches the player that it’s alright to knock someone down, but it’s even better to shoot them down because you get more points. Yay... not. If played enough, these game ethics are applied to real life, creating nothing more than criminal intent, or even worse; criminal behaviour.

According to statistics released in 2002, in a single year, 3 012 kids are killed by gun violence in the United States. That is one child every three hours, eight kids every single day, and more than 50 children every week. These numbers are way too high, and we should be doing something to stop their rapid increase. Imagine, 50 kids per week; that’s almost two classes gone from your school. The unimaginable grief that grips the children’s parents, friends, relatives, is almost unbearable to think about. The dreams and hopes of every one of those children are gunned down, and have fallen away into complete oblivion.

It’s hard to believe that there was a time when things such as guns, tanks, nuclear bombs did not exist. These things have made a deep impression on us, and have given us a false sense of security, making us think that we will never find ourselves in a situation involving weapons. We are mistaken, and very badly so. It could be as far away as 10 years, or as close as around the corner.

Walking along the street, you hear footsteps behind you. Thinking nothing of it, you continue to walk ahead as the footsteps become louder and seem less and less far away. Suddenly, you are shoved face first against the cold brick wall, and feel cold steel against your flushed cheek; “Gimme the money, and I won’t shoot”. You can’t think; you’re mind is fogged with panic, and the words fall out in random order, “I-but-it’s-not-”. The frustrated thief pulls you back and thrusts you against the wall again. “Forget it, he’s got nothing. Just finish him,” you hear another voice. With the last 15 seconds of your life, you reach for your wallet, and hear a deafening bang. As the pain slowly seeps away, you realize that the starlit sky has been replaced by an impenetrable black canvas. You struggle to grasp what is going on as your life slips away, and you become one of the thousands murdered by gun violence every year.


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