It was not a typical Saturday night for Peter, he was used to reading books and spending time with Maria, his little sister. This time he was dressing in his best clothesand styled his hair just right, he, was going to a party. His friends had encouraged him for months and after much hesitation he finally agreed. At the party he metStephanie, the entire night they didn’t spend a minute away from each other. He was not a good dancer, but as her favorite song came on, she pulled him to the dance floor.Minutes later a loud pop sent chills down everyone’s back. Peter was on the floor surrounded by a pile of his own blood, a single gunshot to the chest had ended his life.Peter was a victim of gang violence. An innocent boy who had never been in any trouble and always tried to be the best person he could possibly be, was now a victim of a gangrelated.
These types of tragic events are far too familiar to hundreds of families every year. “According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department HomicideBureau, 42 percent of all homicides in Los Angeles County currently are gang-related.” In 2006 alone, the Los Angeles Almanac stated 7,476 crimes committed in Los Angeles weregang related. These are crimes happening in our own backyard to the ones we love. Crimes that do not just involve homicide, but also include rape, kidnapping, robbery,and carjacking. Leaving our homes in fear of being attacked or targeted is not just a realization for gang members, it is now a reality we must face. In some cases, ourhomes are not even a safe place for our children to play. Our right for liberty, happiness, and peace has been taken from us and it is up to us to do something about it.
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