Hello Crown Heights and Bed Stuy community! We have another blog post from our Credible Messenger from behind bars, Javier Card. Javier is following up on his July gun violence awareness post.

As always, leave questions and comments below!

From Javier:

Dear S.O.S. Supporters,

I would like to start off by expressing my gratitude to everyone who took the time to share their views and opinions last month. Some even took it a step further by wearing orange in commemoration of Gun Violence Awareness Month. Kudos to the teacher who along with her/his entire class took to the streets dressed in orange as well — this  educator clearly understands the importance of instilling community activism in our youth during their pre-conventional stages of development.

The question is, where do we go from here? After spending close to three decades in the “Belly of the Beast”. I’ve learned that penitence should be in the form of deeds–not words. This same principle should apply to people in the community who share a profound desire to bring about change. The group of outraged Chicago teens that initiated National Gun Violence Day in 2013, are perfect examples of people coming together to bring about change. They manage to reach 220 million online users in one day in response to the death of their 15 year old friend Hadiya Pendleton whose life was claimed by gun violence. New York also came together and made history by becoming the first state to designate an entire month to the issue of gun violence — henceforth, Gun Violence Awareness Month.

I say we take it to the next level, why not organize a “One Million March Against Gun Violence”? Just imagine, one million men, women, and children of all walks of life dressed in orange, at the same location as a symbol of peace and solidarity. A strong message to politicians, lobbyists, and the gun industry, a message that says we are tired of burying our children, tired of mass shootings. Needless to say, a movement of this magnitude is going to require a cohesive think tank that should consist of community activists, churches, educators, students, celebrities, law enforcement, and gun violence prevention organizations. The main purpose of the think tank would be to establish the goals, objectives, and demands of the march.

A wise 21 year old participant in one of the classes I teach in here once said to me, “A plan without an action is a dream, but an action without a plan is a nightmare”. It’s time to get up, stand up, stand up for you  rights! Spread this seed with as many people as possible, that’s how movements are born. 

Here are some more statistics:

Everyday 7 children and teens die from gun violence

Everyday 93 people die from gun violence

Every year 2,647 kids die from gun violence

Every year 33,880 people die from gun violence

One Love,

Javier Card