Family Focus Evanston participant, Chayse Johnson, was a Blue Ribbon Winner in the Student Voices Contest presented by the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence. Chayse’s entry was selected from hundreds of entries as the most powerful and well-executed piece in her age group. The award was presented at Catalyst Ranch in Chicago.
See below for her essay, entitled “WHY or WHY NOT?”
No, we haven’t made any progress on gun violence and to me that seems pretty unacceptable. We weren’t put in this world to take people out. We all were created for a reason and to take someone else’s life is trifling, and to take someone else’s away is even more trifling. I mean honestly it is getting out of hand. Now one year olds that haven’t even developed all the way are being shot. I mean it’s very disrespectful and it’s very sad. It’s so sad that “the line between reason and matter is getting thinner and thinner” (spoken by Rosa Parks) but it’s a serious issue and it needs to be stopped. It’s unacceptable and unfair; like have you ever thought about how that one single soul feels when they realize their life is about to end? You’re the reason they are gone and there’s no going back from that.
So I speak from the bottom of my heart. This needs to stop whether you like it or not. There is a reason for everything but is everything important? No, is anything important enough to take someone’s life despite your true feelings inside? You should give those other people a chance, not take it away. You don’t have to take someone’s life with one simple weapon that was held tight between your hands. You have a choice. You can make the right one. Those people that you take away want to believe it’s fake but have that you…
took their life away, whether or not it was a mistake.