It is 4 in the morning and a bullet comes piercing through my bedroom wall, inches from my head.
In my groggy state, it takes a few minutes for me to realize what has happened.
When it hits me that a bullet has come through the room, I cautiously crawl out of the room and check on my 11-year-old daughter, asleep in the next room. She is all right, but I feel we still are in danger.
My mind is going a million miles an hour, but it seems that everything is happening in slow motion. I scramble to the phone while thinking, “This can’t be real.”
Now, a week later, the memory of lying flat in my hallway in absolute terror still replays in my head. I still shake when I think how close the bullet came to flying into my daughter’s bedroom.
The tears and the terror of it all still come and go. I can’t comprehend the insanity of it. I live in a wonderful neighborhood and, ironically, work at an agency that focuses on helping families and children.
The shooter is a 14-year-old gang member. He told the police he was shooting at my tree and it was all an accident. We live in the same neighborhood, but I don’t even know him.
He has been released and continues to walk down my street. He had the nerve to laughingly show someone the bullet hole and even make gun gestures with his hand when someone noticed him outside my home.
I am so furious that he is getting away with all of this. I live in terror. I can’t sleep. I have panic attacks, and I can barely function each day.
He has robbed me of living peacefully, and my senses are on overdrive. I notice every sound, and I keep telling myself I will be normal again someday.
I look at surrounding homes and know that no one is safe from guns, bullets and gangs. Mothers and fathers, I plead with you to petition our community leaders and send them the message: “We will not allow juvenile gang members to continue terrorizing our neighborhoods!”
We as parents have the responsibility and the right to protect our homes and our children to ensure that we can call our homes safe. It’s time we stop slapping these kids on the wrists and start slapping their wrists with handcuffs.
Good night, Spokane neighborhoods. May you sleep peacefully tonight.
MEMO: “Your turn” is a feature of the Wednesday and Saturday Opinion pages. To submit a “Your turn” column for consideration, contact Rebecca Nappi at 459-5496 or Doug Floyd at 459-5466 or write “Your turn,” The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane 99210-1615.
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