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6 Year Reflection

By AudreyCandyCorn aka SistahSaveASoul

March 3rd, 2020

As I reflect on my life, these 6 years have really changed me. I am not the same person I was before. I didn't expect to be. I didn't know what to expect. I instinctually knew life would be forever changed, which means different not the same. However common sense lured me to the assumption and well, I wasn't too far off... Some days I don't know who I am. I've lost so many parts and pieces to me... Sometimes I'm not even recognizable to myself. The horror of it all. I try to balance my Mind Body and Soul. I've yet to balance all 3. Some days are better than others. I'm still here. I'm alive, fighting the so called good fight.

What exactly is the good fight? I'm always torn between this physical world and the spiritual world.

When I was a little girl in my house, I was taught what you do on Earth will be the determining factor in order to be in God's presence eternally. I believe most of us have been taught this very same message all across the world but as we age, live, and experience life we learn Why we have been given that lesson of behavior while on Earth... The commandments of GOD'S word expresses to us NOT to "kill steal or covet.” We are to be help mates to each other, love one another, be fruitful and multiply, NOT KILL off fellow humans, rob and create tools such as guns to assist with the wrong doing of mankind ... Yet it is happening and it hit home And the kicker is there is a disregard for life PERIOD. And it's getting worse. I've lived in Oakland my whole life, I remember giving birth to Torian, I was So Happy. I also remember being asked do I plan to raise my new life in Oakland? Every holiday was magical and since he was a boy, often the gifts that were given to him were toy guns whether it had pellets or was a water gun. When Easter came, the basket was full of candy filled guns and eggs of course. Back in my day the boys’ Easter baskets were filled with balls—basketball, football, soccer balls, etc. You might get a bow and arrow in it but eventually the guns saturated the Easter baskets. Little did I know they were brainwashing all the little boys to like, want, and gravitate towards guns...

By the time my brother got through shooting me with those sticky gun darts I wanted a boy's Easter basket of my own just to get back at him (that candy).

My son grew up and loved being an Oakland native. He had BIG pride and not the rainbow. Torian was fearless. Up until the day he had to have his 1st challenge encountering a GUN. Eventually, Torian faced his challenge and died nobly and so as I reflect back, I searched for something on myself and found this article referring to my son as a PeaceGunner: Gunning for Peace up until the very END. And so as I share this with you, please understand this platform is for me to Vent, Heal, Reach, and Teach If and when applicable. It takes a village to raise a child. The village raised me and my son. The village is the same system that fucks with the gun play. Some have guns, some don't but they’re always accessible. I Am AudreyCandyCorn and this is my unsung story as I reflect on my life and how it has forever changed. But one thing that has remained the Same is The GUNS ARE HERE TO STAY. Now what gets done to you once caught is always CHANGING, gun laws always changing, we got to have a new MINDSET redirecting and brainwashing the little innocent boys. Guns are Not toys. Once dead you can't come back. Guns don't kill. The person pulling the trigger kills. Sure, taking the guns away would keep the death rate down amongst us killing ourselves but it doesn't stop others from killing us. What it does do is put us in a position where we cannot defend ourselves. So again, I'm Torn.

And so today I surf the web looking for shattered pieces of me to be picked up and put back together again and I came across this article. I don't care for the way it was put together—intrusive—however I am kind of used to it. The bigger picture is the time has come back around. Gun laws are to be voted on and while I'm not sure where my vote is going to be, I do know that we need to get down to the real reason as to Why the beef behind the shooting occurs in the first place, which leads me to my very own article highlighting my parent and myself... Speaking more on Torian's concern growing up in the hood facing the struggle of the ghetto's normal dangers. It was me and his grandmother that had the fear. Torian walked the streets bold, he lived life to the fullest, he feared no man but GOD. Torian loved to laugh, never no drama, was easygoing, very loyal and an honest person who believed in GOD and loved his people. Torian trusted me, confided in me. What we adults fear, the children have accepted as their NORMAL. Drop the mic.

6 YEAR Reflection:

Everybody Get Strapped

Check the article as it reads...................................

Two weeks ago, Audrey Candy Corn, the mother of Torian Hughes, told family and friends gathered at his memorial service that shortly before Hughes was gunned down, he said he was scared to walk the streets of Oakland. He was afraid of the ubiquitous threat of gun violence and worried constantly about being shot in a robbery or a random confrontation. On December 20, Hughes’s fears came true at the corner of Mandela Parkway and 8th Street in West Oakland. Two men approached him in broad daylight. One of them pulled a gun and fatally shot Hughes. This was the second to last homicide in Oakland in 2015, a year that ended with 93 killings, almost all of them committed with a gun. “People treat shootings like a personal tragedy, but the truth is, after Torian was killed, people keep coming up to me and telling me that they, too, have lost a family member to gun violence,” said Oakland City Council President Lynette Gibson McElhaney, in an interview. Although Audrey Corn was not related by blood to Gibson McElhaney and her husband Clarence, the couple treated her like she was their daughter, and Torian, like a grandson. They helped raise Torian and, at times, provided support to Corn. Gibson McElhaney also worried about Torian, not because of anything he ever did, but because of who he was. In Oakland, anyone can become a shooting victim, but the Black community suffers disproportionately, and Black men and boys are especially vulnerable. Gibson McElhaney was a peacemaker long before her grandson was killed, but the incident is transforming her. The suspect arrested in Torian’s death earlier this month is a fifteen-year-old boy. Gibson McElhaney said everything about the tragic event — one child killing another — points to the failure of Americans to overcome political polarization on gun policy and to adopt sensible laws that have been proven to reduce the availability of firearms to people who have no business possessing them. “I have a brother by marriage who owns a gun store and gun range in Texas. I’m not anti-gun,” said Gibson McElhaney. “I took my son down to Texas so that he could learn about gun safety from his uncle. My father owned guns and hunted.” Gibson McElhaney rejects the claim that there is an inherent conflict between the Second Amendment and the types of laws that would reduce gun violence, suicides, and accidental shootings. But she notes that because of the policy gridlock at the federal level, cities like Oakland become flooded with guns, which, in turn, become available to children and people with violent criminal backgrounds. This produces trauma and fear, she noted. Gibson McElhaney said that several years ago, she was going door to door in West Oakland, canvassing the neighborhood during a political campaign. As she walked through the City Towers apartments, a high-rise, affordable-housing community, she noticed bullet holes in the walls. She spoke with a middle-aged couple that lived in one of the buildings who told her about their fear of stepping outside at the wrong time of day or night, of being robbed at gunpoint, or caught in the crossfire of a shooting. The couple told her they went so far as to alter their work schedules and sneak out to their cars to avoid certain areas at certain times. The conversation stuck with her. “No one should have to live like that,” said Gibson McElhaney. “That’s not freedom.” The fear of gun violence, the way it distorts everyday life in Oakland, and stunts the development of youngsters who grow up traumatized by the sound of gunfire and the murder of their friends and loved ones, is a form of imprisonment, said Gibson McElhaney. It’s the opposite of the freedom that both libertarians and some on the radical left associate with the Second Amendment. Gibson McElhaney said people must come to terms with the fact that the nation’s existing gun laws are more a source of oppression than a wellspring of liberty. “Too many people are dying, and there’s trauma in our community,” she said. “And because of this trauma, people are fearful. They don’t get to live fully human, fully expressed lives.” As an example of laws that would further reduce gun violence and make Americans safer and freer, Gibson McElhaney points to President Obama’s recent executive action to expand the definition of a firearms dealer and require all dealers to register with the government, conduct background checks, and file paperwork on gun sales. Obama’s action, if enforced, would help to close the gun-show loophole that allows for millions of firearms every year to be traded and sold without any tracking mechanism. Law enforcement officials suspect that this loophole is exploited by gun traffickers to divert tens of thousands of firearms each year into the underground market and onto the streets of cities like Oakland. “Ninety-two percent of Americans, including card-carrying members of the NRA, support universal background checks,” said Gibson McElhaney, referring to a recent poll showing widespread support for checking the criminal and mental health histories of all gun buyers. Gibson McElhaney said that she believes measures like these, which are known to reduce gun violence, and which are broadly supported, are likely being blocked by the gun industry and firearms dealers. “Citizens in every state have to push back against this minority interest that’s very powerful and entrenched, and, I think, profit-driven.” Gibson McElhaney acknowledges that Oakland’s borders are porous. But she said that the city needs to do whatever it can to reduce gun violence, even if it means passing laws that are as much symbolic as they are substantive. “The city and its residents have a role to play in amplifying this message so that it matters on a national level,” she said. “We failed Torian. The question is: How can we work to make sure there isn’t another victim?”

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