Fifteen-year-old Atlanta boy Cameron Jackson was fatally wounded in shooting on the 17th Street bridge in Midtown Atlanta last month, according to multiple reports. Last week Atlanta police made two arrests in connection with the shooting, which they say was gang related. The suspected killers have been apprehended, but another young life was lost to senseless gun violence.
Cameron Jackson Had Olympic Boxing Dreams
Jackson was a good kid, according to reports, and committed to becoming a world-class boxer. His coach Zahir Raheem shared high hopes with his former athlete, which he described to reporters at a Dec. 1 news conference in front of Atlanta City Hall.
“We had dreams and goals of going to the Olympics in 2024 in Paris,” Raheem said.
Jackson’s mother, still trying to process the death of her son, is at a loss.
“I don’t know where we go from here,” his mother, Tiffany Smith, told reporters at the news conference. “But Cameron was my whole world. Now I have to figure out what’s next. That was my baby boy.”
How Did Cameron Jackson Die?
Jackson was one of six students shot on the 17th Street Bridge after a confrontation near the city’s Atlantic Station shopping and business district on Nov. 26. Jackson fought valiantly for his life in the hospital for several days before dying on Wednesday, Nov. 30. The 15-year-old was the second victim, after Zyion Charles. Zion, 12, died the same day of the shooting.
According to Gun Violence Archive, 41,845 people in the United States have died so far in 2022 due to gun violence.
EveryStat.org says guns are the leading cause of death among children and teens in the U.S, and an average of 3,540 children and teens die by guns annually. 60% of the deaths are homicides, and Black children and teens are 14 times more likely than their white peers to die by gun homicide.
Staggering and horrific numbers.
The two suspects arrested in connection with the shooting are also teenagers who were identified via surveillance video from local MARTA stations.They are 15 and 16, respectively, and have been charged with two counts of murder, aggravated assault and a gang-related charge.
“As a community, if we don’t come together and get the conversation straight about the real issue that’s going on, we’re going to lose a generation,” Smith said.
The real issue is that access to guns in the U.S. is far too easy. Both through legal and illegal means.
Gun Violence Is Out Of Control
From 2011 to 2020 the rate of gun homicides increased 70 percent according to EveryStat.org
Gun violence is an epidemic that is robbing too many people of their lives. Politicians need to stop making it a partisan issue and do what is right for the well-being of the nation.
It’s unclear how many deaths need to occur before Congress and the Senate enact common sense gun legislation. What will it take for the people we elect into office to do what’s right?
There needs to be a real concerted effort to address gun violence in the U.S. Not just the legislative piece, but the socioeconomic and societal factors that lead to gun violence.
It’s not an easy fix as these problems go back centuries. But this can’t be the accepted way of life. Where have we gotten to when the collective response is apathy?
Jackson’s Coach Speaks
Raheem, Jackson’s coach, claims that he never had any inclination that Jackson was affiliated with gang activity. Jackson’s boxing trainer called him “Little Pooch” and described the teen as “quite disciplined … and gentle.”
All across America we are witnessing the death of children due to gun violence. Children go through lockdown drills at schools to prepare for active shootings. Some schools are discussing having armed security and barbed wire fencing on the perimeter.
It seems like everything being done is reactionary as opposed to proactive.
It’s on the collective citizenry to rally together and force elected officials to do what’s right. In a divided country the problem of gun violence is one of the only issues the majority of people agree on.