He's 13 years old.
At about 2:30 AM I started drawing and I was just searching the computer for ideas
and I realized how relevant shootings are
so I created that.
His mother sent the artwork to me this morning.
Her son's late night thoughts should revolve around pretty people he'd like to kiss,
not dead 9 year olds, or 17 year olds, or college students, or high schoolers.
Ta'Nehisi Coates's Between The World And Me describes his daily struggle to get through the day.
His body language, his clothing, his gaze - all circumscribed by the violence surrounding him.
He didn't relax. He couldn't. It wasn't safe.
He might die.
When it's the other who is afraid to walk home from school, it's easy to shake your head and sigh.
When it's a friend's son facing the reality of gun violence at 2:30 in the morning, it's harder.
Perhaps this is what the current focus on guns can achieve.
Our children are watching and they are terrified.
Bombarded by images of his peers being carried out in body bags, it's only natural that my 8th grade friend's thoughts would turn to handguns in the middle of the night.
He realized how relevant shootings are.
That is outrageous.
They should be irrelevant to schoolkids.
Here's my wish for 2016 -
Let's make gun violence irrelevant.