The Unspoken War in Baltimore: The difference between conversations about gun violence in Baltimore versus Parkland

Baltimore has been at war with gun violence as long as we can remember.

There’s this joke that, especially during the summer, when you hear shots ring you never know if it’s fireworks or actual gun shots in the city. . . . It’s not that funny, I must admit.

Or what about “Living in Baltimore is like a ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ episode, you never know who is going to die next.”

We never know if we’re safe. Sometimes when I’m walking home from school, I don’t know if i’m gonna make it. Just imagine walking to the store on the corner and once you walk out you see a guy running for his life with a man behind him with that guy’s life basically in his hands. I was like 13 when that happened. That is the moment when I realized that I live in a war that I want to get out of.

This is the daily life of a student in Baltimore.

You don’t hear about anyone shooting up city schools. You do hear about homicide cases and whether you’ll see the people you love once they leave . . . or at least you should be hearing about it.

We’ve rallied and cried, protested and fought for better gun laws. This is nothing new to Baltimore, so to see it getting attention from other places is, of course fantastic, but makes me curious.

“Were our cries for help not as important?”

We’ve been in a war zone too long. We’ve been pleading for change. How are we expected to thrive in a city that feels like a hunting ground?

Maia Washington and Jada Jackson are writers and seniors at Western High School.

  • Kelly_Quinn

    Thank you, Jada and Maia, for your thoughtful comments. Thanks for your leadership. Love your fan, Ms. Kelly

  • Elena

    It’s so important for the country to hear this right now. Thanks for giving your testimony. We should all be paying better attention.

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