Several women comfort a woman on the ground outside of Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago on Wednesday, June 1, 2016. A 15-year-old boy was shot in a vehicle in the 2900 block of East 89th Street late Tuesday and later died at the hospital. | Caption and photo: Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images

Gun violence is going too far. Innocent lives are being taken. It’s hard to see a fellow child die in the blink of an eye. ‘Bang bang’ is all we hear nowadays, and it hurts me to think about Tyshawn’s grave. So I pray to keep myself safe from this warzone called Chicago. I don’t us to die. So all I do is cry and ask why?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m strong but these people are wrong. They think that they are right. So all I do is fight. Nowadays, all I think about is life because it can be take away from me.

Who named it Chiraq? That name is so whack. That makes us look back and think about Iraq, but who wants to compare their city with a war zone. If you ask me, I would say that you’re wrong. You never know who is who, so watch your back. So I pray to keep us safe. 

—    Quron Luster, 13-year-old North Lawndale resident