I Became A Gun Violence Victim At 8 Years Old

Three mass shootings in 10 days is overwhelming. But it's becoming the norm. In 2019, there have been 251 mass shootings in the U.S. in just 216 days. Our children deserve a far better world than one where every known safe space has been violated by hate-filled cowards in domestic acts of terror.

For me, gun violence is not only real, but it is personal.

At just 8 years old, I saw my mom being dragged across my bedroom with a gun to her head. The perpetrator threatened to kill her as he stood before my bed. My family survived that night, but I still carry the scars of that moment and having to testify against the assailant in court. Eight years later when I was sixteen my cousin was kidnapped. We searched for days, but it felt like eternity. When we found her, she had been shot and killed. Witnesses said the shooter admitted to killing her because she "looked at him funny.”

The events that I experienced as a child have given me a purpose that I carry to this day: That no child should should have to feel unsafe in their community ever again.

There are things we can do right now at the federal level, at the state level, but also at the local level to protect our communities.

We can start by making sure that all guns sold in Houston require a background check.

Gun shows are notorious for evading the requirement of background checks. As a council member, I will propose that people who intend to purchase a gun at one of Houston's many gun shows, register their intent to purchase a firearm and submit a background check no later than 10 days prior to the start of the gun show.

While we lend our thoughts, prayers and resources to the victims and cities recovering from the devastating effects of gun violence, let’s also give them change.

Because this has to stop. WE have to make this stop.