CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago teenager joined students from Parkland, Florida, and members of Congress in Washington, D.C., on Friday, to say that the nation can’t allow gun violence to continue being a normal way of life in the U.S.
Keshon Newman, a student at Perspectives charter schools, said his step brother, 16-year-old Randle Young, was shot and killed two years ago near their home in West Englewood.
“He was being a normal teenager. On that day he was walking his girlfriend to the bus stop, and he was caught in a random gun shootout,” Newman said at a news conference on Capitol Hill. “He was a loving brother and friend to all. He was our protector, and now his life has ended due to this senseless gun violence.”
Flanked by students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the site of last month’s deadly school shooting; former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who was wounded in a shooting in Arizona in 2011; and Florida Congressman Ted Deutch and Senator Bill Nelson, Newman said gun violence in Chicago “has become a tragic way of life which shouldn’t be the normal.”
“We don’t have random mass shootings, we have daily shootings; which we pray every day for our safety to and from school, and for our neighborhood. I want everyone here to know the reality of Chicago. Just since January 1, 466 people have been shot, and 88 of that 466 were killed,” he said. “We must stop letting this become the normal in Chicago. In this moment, the youth voice is rising across the country, and especially in Chicago. Our voices are loud, our voices are clear, and our voices are about to change history.”
Newman and other Chicago students have teamed up with gun control activists across the country in Washington, D.C., to take part in the “March For Our Lives” demonstration against gun violence on Saturday.
“Randle isn’t another statistic. His life matters just like the lives lost in Parkland, Sandy Hook, Las Vegas, and so many other places in this country,” Newman said.
The March For Our Lives demonstration will include dozens of rallies across the country on Saturday.