Smooth on Giving up the Gun
On the eve of last month’s March for our Lives, the Guardian sought commentary from current and former Teens on Target youth leaders, including former TNTer Smooth Wickliff. With insight and clarity, Smooth wrote about growing up surrounded by violence in Oakland, about the lure of the gun, and about what TNT taught him about breaking the cycle of violence. Read his Guardian piece, which the publication called “I used to be a gun-toting teenager. If I stepped away from guns, we all can.“
In Oakland, where I live, young people wake up every day to another person killed by gun violence. It’s a never-ending nightmare. This gun violence is swept under the rug by people afraid of a world without guns. They forget what it was like before they had access to one.
If the answer to violence were more violence, things would be better by now. But they’re not. As a teenager, I watched people fall victim to firearms. Sometimes these gun deaths were self-inflicted. Other times they were caused by someone else. The common denominator was the ready access to these weapons of mass destruction they call guns. Read Smooth’s complete article.