The Unintended Victims of Gun Violence

It is no secret that violence has increased since the pandemic, and the spike in gun violence has continued to increase from 2020 to 2021.



Charron Powell stands with a photo of her son, LeGend Talieferro, at her home in Raytown, Mo. on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. LeGend was 4 years old when he was fatally shot June 29, 2020 while he was sleeping in an apartment staying with his father.

Chinwe Onwere, Staff Writer/Editor

According to the Gun Violence Archive, from January 1st to September 15th, more than 14,500 people died from gun related deaths – a 1,300 increase from the previous year. Particularly, shootings have greatly increased in big cities, like Philadelphia, Columbus (Ohio), and Los Angeles. There are many particular reasons that could have contributed to this increase – from a lack of gun regulation, to unprecedented gun sales seen in 2020, to COVID-19 restrictions laxing.

Unfortunately, children are often susceptible victims of gun violence, especially in low-income, minority communities. Caion Greene, a 9 year old, died in St. Louis after someone opened fire on his family’s car in March. Legend Taliferro, a 4-year old from Kansas City, Missouri, was shot in his apartment on June 29, 2020 after a conflict arose concerning his dad. Thirteen year old Amaria Jones was showing her mother a TikTok dance when a bullet pierced through her family’s house window and killed her. Often, these children are unintended victims due to rivalry violence within these areas.

“Why do we have to resort to violence because we’re mad?”  Charron Powell, Legend’s mother stated. “What are other ways we can figure out an issue without harming somebody?”

Not only has gun violence risen for younger children, but it has also seen a surge within the teenage demographic. With the rise of social media, many times insults and retaliation online have turned into real life assaults and physical confrontation. In an article by the Associated Press, it stated: “While small children are often caught in the crossfire, teenagers are most commonly targeted — often by other teenagers — in drive-by shootings on interstate highways or gunned down in broad daylight on urban streets.”

Gun violence must be stopped, but also needs to be prevented. Whether that is through legislation, increased education to youth, or availability of opportunities to people within these areas, it is clear that this issue has deadly consequences.