United States

"We accept the love we think we deserve." -Perks of Being a Wallflower

Message to Readers

This is my first competition piece so any feedback would be great! This piece is kinda like my earlier one, Guns and Roses, so I hope you guys like it!

Ninety-Six People

March 5, 2019

    Thirty six thousand; approximately thirty six thousand lives lost to gun violence, by intention, each year in America. Thirty six thousand people who will not live to see the shining sun or the glittering stars. Thirty six thousand people will not smile as their favorite song plays or watch their favorite movie with the person they love most in their life. Over thirty six thousand people will be grieving; over thirty six thousand people will watch as someone they love is placed in a casket and buried six feet under. Gun violence isn't just someone picking up a gun and firing aimlessly, it is taking the beat from someone's heart and the breath from someone's lungs. It is an act of jealousy or anger, mental instability or sheer wrath; it is something that is turning the America that was a safe haven into the America that is a slaughter house not yet to be stopped. This isn't the place where children can grow up, this isn't the land of the free that so many wished to escape to, this isn't the home so many people used to know. The guns going off, the blood running, the everlasting grief caused by a reckless bullet, it has to end. It has to end by a binding of words wrapped around a gun store and it's background checks. It has to end by our government making the choice that could save thousands. It has to end.
    On March 14th, 2018, hundreds of my peers, my fellow students of the Milford New Hampshire school district, rose out of their seats to exit our school building to join a nation wide protest; a protest for the seventeen that lost their lives in the Florida Parkland shooting. That day I listened to the kids I grew up with preach the loss of innocent lives, I listened as hushed quiet befell hundreds of teenagers as we bowed our heads in silence for those fallen seventeen. I watched as hundreds lined up to sign the petition for the government and cards for the families. I could only imagine what was happening over the rest of the country. On March 14th, thousands stood with hands linked for a justice that many hadn't yet been given even though their lives had been lost. March 14th is a day that stands forever as a mark for me because that was the day I believed I had a chance to change what was happening in our world. With gun violence so freely loose, the buildings where we are are promised education are no longer safe. The streets, it seems, are no longer safe. Our homes and favorite cafes, the store and even inside of our cars, we aren't safe. Why is an invention that used to keep us safe, now the very thing that is killing off people from ranging generations, genders, sexualities, religions, and races?
    Every day approximately ninety-six people die from gun violence every day in the United States. Ninety-six people won't go home at the end of the day. Ninety-six people won't laugh because their best friend is just so funny. Today ninety-six people won't lay down in their beds, they'll be laid down in a coffin, prepped and prepared to be seen one last time. Every day, the light in ninety-six people's eyes will dim, the color in their skin will drain, the movement in their body will cease, their mind will replay the pain until it all fades to black, and the brain that wouldn't stop thinking in the middle of the night will finally stop. Ninety-six people will die for three hundred and sixty-five days until the statistics rise and soon it's ninety-seven, ninety-eight, ninety-nine, one hundred, two hundred, three hundred a day; where does it end?
    Everybody scatters at the booming crack as a bullet pierces the air including those who intend harm by taking what isn't theirs or harming others. As well as bullets kill, they can scare just as well; they protect the ones who serve our country and general civilians that are under threat. There are people that argue that if the right people have guns then no harm is done. If the right people have guns. Who is to determine who is safe with the company of a firearm? Background checks can confirm or deny the threat of a mental disorder, locks can eliminate the danger of auto-fire, but really anybody can pick up and decide to end their life or another's.
    Anybody can make the choice, but if there is a chance to lower the statistics, lower the number of people dying on the daily because a gun went off and stopped their beautiful, broken heart, then why aren't we taking it? Why aren't we saving the children and teenagers that just can't take it because I just don't belong so they pick up a weapon and end it all with a single movement? Why aren't we saving the people that were just driving home when a bullet crashed through the window and hit it's home? Why aren't we making the change that we have the shot at? There are lives being lost for nothing and instead of receiving justice for what killed them, they are receiving flowers. Instead of receiving peace knowing something has changed, friends and families are receiving condolences and hugs. A loss for a rose, a beating heart for an "I'm so sorry", a laughing loved one for a quiet ghost of the past in a casket.
    And still no change.
“Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.” Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence |,
Mervosh, Sarah. “Nearly 40,000 People Died From Guns in U.S. Last Year, Highest in 50 Years.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 18 Dec. 2018,

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1 Comment
  • elisa

    super well-written, great job!!

    almost 2 years ago