Gun violence has ripple effect in mid-Michigan

A new John Hopkins University study says gun-related injuries send 8,300 kids to emergency room each year nationwide.

Advocates in mid-Michigan say they can see those effects here.

Flint licensed professional counselor, Shuntai Walker, from Re-Connect My Life, says gun violence hurts the entire community, even those who were not shot, like the victim’s classmates.

“They can think about ‘oh will that happen to me because it happened to my classmates,” she says.

Walker says survivors are left with long-term injuries like post-traumatic stress disorder.

“You could have nightmares. It could be fear of anything,” she says. “Not wanting to leave the house out of fear that something will happen to them again,” she says.

Leon El-Alamin is working to end gun violence in Flint.

The former felon runs M.A.D.E. Institute, a non-profit that helps former offenders. It also works to keep children and teens out of gangs. The thought: less gangs, less guns.

“A lot of the feedback I’m getting from them from the youth is if I had someone to talk to in that moment of rage that I was feeling, I wouldn’t have picked up a gun or knife or whatever it may be,” he says.

El-Alamin says the 8,300 kids sent to the hospital are 8,300 too many.

“That means we failed as a community,” he says.

“It saddens me that children have to endure this, that this is a part of life,” Walker says.

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