NAACP Hosts Discussion on Gun Violence and Terrorism

Sloane Walker, pictured, is St. John’s NAACP chairwoman and ran Thursday’s event.


Sloane Walker, pictured, is St. John’s NAACP chairwoman and ran Thursday’s event.

Kenneth Carter, Contributing Writer

The NAACP at St. John’s University held an open discussion titled “Gun Violence and Domestic Terrorism,” on Thursday, Nov. 29.

NAACP President Tamia Morris and Educational Chairwoman Sloane Walker ran the event.

To start off the conversation, they presented information about two shootings that have impacted the country in the past decade: Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012 and Stoneman Douglas High School this February.

Ever since the senseless shootings took place, the people that were directly affected  by them have taken steps to ensure that they don’t happen anymore.

The parents of the children killed in Sandy Hook started the Sandy Hook Promise foundation in 2012, whose mission is to, “Prevent gun-related deaths due to crime, suicide, and accidental discharge so that no other parent experiences the senseless, horrific loss of their child.”

The students from Stoneman Douglas High School sparked a national movement where high schools across the country organized their own walkouts and organized this year’s national protest, March For Our Lives, to call for change.

As the discussion went on, more facts on gun violence in the United States were presented. Facts presented from the Gun Violence Archive included a statistic that four in 10 people live in homes with guns, and that in 2018 alone, there have been 13,314 gun related deaths and 323 mass shootings.

These stats led to a passionate discussion among audience members about what can be done to stop gun violence, not only mass shootings but the everyday killings that happen in communities across the country, particularly the African American communities.

The common solution among attendees was to stop merely talking about what needs to be done among one another, but to go out and make sure that the people who hold the legislative power for change are held accountable.  

Toward the end of the discussion students shared stories of how gun violence has affected their lives thus far and how those stories have inspired them to become advocates for change. One of the first stories shared was about a girl named Jamahri Snyder from Washington, D.C., who was struck and killed by a stray bullet as she was driving in August of 2017.

She was supposed to start college only a few weeks later.

At the end of the discussion, Walker made it a point to state that the NAACP at St. John’s University is, “not pro or anti gun, just anti people dying.”