I don't share this video lightly, as it was painful to do the interview w Spike and it is difficult for me to watch. But, I know that my story as a gun violence survivor isn't unique to me only. There are 58 gun suicides every day in our country. I want people to see how bad this hurts. I want people to see the face of gun violence vs just looking at this issue in the abstract. Maybe in seeing my pain, it will enable people to have the strength to put their gun down and hold their loved ones instead. I was robbed of a lifetime with my mom, because she had easy access to a gun during a time of severe depression. She had access to a permanent solution that I would have to suffer through for the rest of my life. I don't deserve this nor do any of the other families that have had to endure a tragedy like mine. But, rather than allowing my nightmare to consume me, I've decided to own my circumstances and use it as fuel for positive change. I have been fortunate in that my dad remarried to an amazing woman that I affectionately call Mom, who took the position of being a parent of a child that was filled with raw anger and a lack of self worth. That couldn't have been easy and during my younger years, I wasn't capable of making things less difficult for her. But she didn't give up on me & it's largely due to her love and that I have made it this far. I know that the holidays and special days, like Mother's Day, are extremely hard, but it is important to surround yourself with as much love and support as possible. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I am so glad that Spike Lee stepped up to help broadcast the messages and stories of gun violence survivors to millions of people. I am thrilled that ABC, ESPN & the NBA & the NBA players stepped up and were willing to use their enormous platforms to talk about such a painful topic. They have millions of fans who look up to them and with this effort to #EndGunViolence, scores of young people have a chance of seeing their heroes speak up for them and show that they care about the violence in their communities. Those NBA players could take the easy route and flaunt their money, show pictures of their mansions and their Bentleys. They could stick with the status quo and focus on selling their "brand", but these these guys took the much needed extra step and opted to speak up for the voiceless, for those of us that know a pain like no other. It reminds me of what Jim Brown and Kareem Abdul Jabar did during the 60's & 70's for the civil rights movement. This is huge and it also shows other celebs that they don't have to be silent or afraid. Thanks to Everytown, the Everytown Survivor Network, Moms Demand Action, Shannon, Chris, Stefanie, the brave survivors, and my man Jason for making this happen. Please check out the other survivor videos and the NBA segments at http://everytown.wecanendgunviolence.org make sure you watch them and share them so people know our stories, so they feel our pain, so they see the faces of gun violence. We CANWe MUSTWe WILL #EndGunViolence

Posted by Khary Penebaker on Saturday, December 26, 2015

I don’t share this video lightly, as it was painful to do the interview w Spike and it is difficult for me to watch. But, I know that my story as a gun violence survivor isn’t unique to me only. There are 58 gun suicides every day in our country. I want people to see how bad this hurts. I want people to see the face of gun violence vs just looking at this issue in the abstract. Maybe in seeing my pain, it will enable people to have the strength to put their gun down and hold their loved ones instead.

I was robbed of a lifetime with my mom, because she had easy access to a gun during a time of severe depression. She had access to a permanent solution that I would have to suffer through for the rest of my life. I don’t deserve this nor do any of the other families that have had to endure a tragedy like mine. But, rather than allowing my nightmare to consume me, I’ve decided to own my circumstances and use it as fuel for positive change. I have been fortunate in that my dad remarried to an amazing woman that I affectionately call Mom, who took the position of being a parent of a child that was filled with raw anger and a lack of self worth. That couldn’t have been easy and during my younger years, I wasn’t capable of making things less difficult for her. But she didn’t give up on me & it’s largely due to her love and that I have made it this far.

I know that the holidays and special days, like Mother’s Day, are extremely hard, but it is important to surround yourself with as much love and support as possible. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

I am so glad that Spike Lee stepped up to help broadcast the messages and stories of gun violence survivors to millions of people. I am thrilled that ABC, ESPN & the NBA & the NBA players stepped up and were willing to use their enormous platforms to talk about such a painful topic. They have millions of fans who look up to them and with this effort to #EndGunViolence, scores of young people have a chance of seeing their heroes speak up for them and show that they care about the violence in their communities. Those NBA players could take the easy route and flaunt their money, show pictures of their mansions and their Bentleys. They could stick with the status quo and focus on selling their “brand”, but these these guys took the much needed extra step and opted to speak up for the voiceless, for those of us that know a pain like no other. It reminds me of what Jim Brown and Kareem Abdul Jabar did during the 60’s & 70’s for the civil rights movement. This is huge and it also shows other celebs that they don’t have to be silent or afraid.

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