Screams of Terror- Gun Violence and My Story

Tiny - Posted on 03 August 2020

Image: Secoriea Turner

Over the course of my life, I have learned much about guns while laying in bed. I learned that there are guns that fire really quickly, but don't make a lot of noise. Those are light machine guns. I can usually only hear those when I concentrate. I also learned about the louder guns, the ones that usually follow up with screams of terror, and those are assault rifles. Finally, one of the least common that I hear are shotguns, which have a really loud boom and after four or five rounds created a silence that seems as if time itself stopped in that moment. 


The sounds at night that I hear are sounds of gun violence. People being killed, families losing a loved one, and faces being put on t-shirts aren't a rarity in neighborhoods like the one I live in, and in the night I can hear all of it. These days, gun violence doesn't have rules. There is no “don't harm women or children” any more. Whoever stands in the way of the barrel is killed. 


Over the July 4th weekend, as we all know, there are an abundance of fireworks being lit. This allows for far more gun violence and crimes using guns to be committed unchecked. That is how Secoriea Turner was killed in Atlanta on July 5th, only 4 days before this was written. Turner was killed while in the backseat of a car with her mother that was going towards her cousin's house. It was an act of senseless violence against a car amidst anger caused by the murder of Rayshard Brooks by police officers in front of a Wendy’s in that area. 


“Nobody helped me, I prayed to God and He didn’t help me. My baby died in my arms.”


Those were the words of Secoriea’s mother Charmaine, who fortunately was not severely injured by the gunshots. I have heard many cases like these in neighborhoods like mine, and they break my heart every single time. In all of the neighborhoods I have lived in there have been countless unnecessary deaths of people in the community, whether due to gang violence, stray bullets, domestic violence but most of all police brutality, and not in the ways that many might think. 


There have been many cases I've seen or heard of where the government provided ammunition and/or drugs to gangs to keep them fighting. Police officers would cause wars between gangs by telling one that another said this, and so on. This is police brutality. Many of these cases where the police interfered to harm the community have caused many of these deaths. In this case, I am not aware of the specifics as to why they opened fire on the car Secoriae was in, but I am aware that it had some connection to the murder of Rayshard Brooks, who was killed by the police less than a month earlier.


These neighborhoods that I grew up in aren't filled with so much violence and hate for no reason. When cities were first being mapped out, the rich white owners would use a process called redlining to section off specific areas of the city reserved for black and brown people. Those areas would purposefully have reduced funding for schools, city management, and if you are from there you would have a smaller chance at a job going forward. This is institutionalized racism that continues to this day, and has caused so much pain and hurt to powerful people, by encouraging and teaching them to hurt themselves and each other.  


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