I lived in fear of guns, but emotions can't dictate policies on violence

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Growing up in inner-city Brooklyn, New York, during the ’80s, I’ve seen my fair share of guns and their positive and negative impacts on a community. From the rampant crime that scourged New York City during my childhood and killed countless Americans, many of whom looked like me, to the brave law enforcement officers who protected our streets with firearms. 

I grew up very familiar with weapons, whether I was ready or not. The emotional toll of living in an unsafe neighborhood can weigh on your psyche, especially as a parent. My mother, a hardworking single parent, often feared her child could end up dead at the hands of an evil man with a gun, a reality far too many mothers in underserved neighborhoods have faced.  

As someone who lived in the inner city, I can say firsthand that my peers and I lived in fear, a fear that we’d eventually grow numb to but a real fear, nonetheless. The fear of getting killed by a stray bullet, witnessing a murder, or getting mugged at gunpoint while walking home from a basketball practice. I mention the latter example because it’s personal to me. Growing

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