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There were times when my main focus was to get a gun just so I could have a twisted version of peace of mind.
Growing up in West Oakland, I’ve witnessed things like people getting beat up for snitching to the authorities, and being paid to commit murders. I’ve even been there when my cousins loaded their guns before going to the grocery store.
I used to feel as if a gun was essential in my everyday life.
There were many times when I had the money and the right connections to purchase a gun on the black market. But when it came time — I would stop and think. “Do I honestly need this?” At the last minute I’d buy a pair of shoes instead.
I had realized that I wasn’t willing to spend my money on protection or give up the fun parts of being a teenager.
Thankfully, my family relocated two years ago to a much calmer neighborhood. For the first time I’m able to forget about watching my back and become more comfortable with my newfound peace of mind.