This entry is part 16 of 77 in the series Othello

“I think some people commit violent crimes because it’s something that will give an effect compared to someone just using their words to fight” (Rivas). These words right here came from an Oakland resident named Sara Rivas who gave her opinion about the violence in Oakland. In Oakland there is so much gun violence present that it’s a big problem since it makes people feel less safe in their communities and especially their homes where they are supposed to feel comfortable. Gun violence in Oakland has caused there to be many deaths because there is not enough exposure to role models but so much exposure to weapons.

The violence in Oakland happens because most of the time there are no positive role models.In an interview with Caitlin Christensen, an Oakland resident who used to work as a social worker, she explained, “Some kids grow up with violence present in their home that when they are adults, it’s something they do because it’s what they have seen growing up” (Christensen). What this quote means is that because kids don’t have positive role models then they end up repeating this cycle of violence. The phrase “grow up with violence” means that there will be a lot of exposure to violence for kids and they will think that doing violent acts is the best option there is when they have a problem. Additionally, In another interview with Maria Pablo an Oakland resident who has been living in Oakland  for almost 15 years she mentioned, “I think that some people commit crimes because they may not have a family member/friend who cares about them so they go into the streets, but don’t find decent people there” (Pablo). Pablo illustrates that  that if a teen or adult feels as if they have no one to rely on then they may end up going to the streets where they think they will find people who care. Instead of finding a friend who cares they may be with people who are bad influences and commit violent attacks on others because it’s what they learn from hanging out with the wrong people in the streets.

Moreover, the exposure of guns in Oakland has made there be a lot of deaths for families. In the article titled “Oakland Teen Falls to Gun Violence He Had Spoken Out Against”, by Jenna Lyons, it explains that a teen named Roderick Travon Godfrey had spoken about how bad gun violence was and how he lost many friends because of it. He revealed, “I’m only 19. I lost nine friends to guns, and five of them didn’t even see the age of 18”  (Lyons). This is very important because it shows the after effects of what gun violence does to people and it’s very tragic. The tragic part is that Godfrey and other people in Oakland have to see the people they love die and not have the long life they deserve to have as any other person. The phrase “lost… friends to guns”, shows that gun violence in Oakland is a serious problem because guns are everywhere and there needs to be more law enforcement on it so that there is less innocent people dying. Also, the tone in this quote is of awareness because gun violence caused a young teen who had dreams in his life to die right when he wanted to help make a change based on how many friends he had lost in years. In addition, an article named , “The Geography of Gun Violence in Cities and Metros” by Richard Florida, Florida looks at the data of gun violence in different cities like Oakland and writes about why the number of gun violence is very high based on other information he has about the city of Oakland. He concluded, “My colleagues and I did, however, find gun deaths to be higher in states with higher levels of poverty and lower incomes” (Florida). According to this article it explains that in Oakland one main reason why there may be higher deaths here because of how guns are easily available to people and they use them to go commit crimes like robberies in order for them to have money. The phrase “poverty…lower incomes”, means that gun violence is high because there are many gangs in low income cities which is like Oakland. Exposure of guns in Oakland has made there be a lot of deaths because young adults see this violence around them and get influenced to also do it.

In conclusion, If there is a demand for change in Oakland in order to decrease violence then it means that the whole community has to work together and not just one person. By making a change, there has to be more laws so that guns are kept off streets or else more lives will be lost and there needs to be more leaders who are willing to be role models for young adults who can later have greater chances of a successful future.

Work cited

Christensen, Caitlin. “Violence Interview.” 14 Dec. 2018.

I interviewed Caitlin Christensen because she used to work as a social worker who would help families.


Florida, Richard, and University of Toronto’s School of Cities and Rotman School of Management. “The Geography of Gun Violence in Cities and Metros.” CityLab, 3 Dec. 2012,


This article was about the data of gun violence from different cities in the United States.    The reason why it is a credible source is because the article is coming from a university that would be able to explain the data correctly.


Lyons, Jenna. “Oakland Teen Falls to Gun Violence He Had Spoken out Against.” San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle, 1 Dec. 2016,

This article was about an Oakland resident who had been killed due to gun violence and how they lost many friends to it. The reason why this is a credible source because the author of the article wanted to make others aware about the gun violence in Oakland.

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Jesus Morales
Jesus Morales
February 19, 2019 10:20 pm

I am convinced that you topic if informative but i wish that I can see more images of your topic.

Danielle Brees
Danielle Brees
February 13, 2019 2:38 am

Hi Beatriz,

I really like your blog post! This is definitely a very serious topic that affects a lot of places around the country, not just Oakland. Your use of quotes was very helpful in getting your point across and helps support your arguments. I think that if you also added some cities near Oakland with similar problems regarding gun violence, this would also strengthen your argument. I am really looking forward to what you come up with in the future, but what are some solutions to the problems with gun violence in your city? What are some possible steps in getting rid of this problem? I am looking forward to reading the rest of your work!


Erin Jenne
Erin Jenne
February 13, 2019 2:37 am

Hi Beatriz! You did an amazing job tackling a complex and very serious issue that is close to home for many. I like that you identified a few of the key causes of gun violence in Oakland, three of those being a lack of role models, growing up with violence/cycle of violence, and the availability of guns. You identified these issues clearly and explained each one with evidence from one of your sources. What do you think about the intersection of class, income, and gun violence? Does it also intersect with urban areas and if so, is there a pattern of demographics in those areas? Then I think the next step in your research and for you to consider are what are solutions to stopping gun violence, and which of those solutions do you think would be most effective for Oakland? One that jumps to my mind is more regulation of guns but I’m not sure whether or not that would impact the specific situation in Oakland because I am not from the area. I hope this was helpful to you! Feel free to respond to my thoughts on your thoughts!

January 16, 2019 7:58 pm

Dear Beatriz,
I was very excited to read your blog because Your poem was very interesting, and I really like your article because it talks about serious issues and it reminds me of your poem. I like how in your second paragraph you instantly talked about how violence can make people violent, because of their role models and how people be around it. I also like how you put someone’s real story into your blog that connected a real life experience to an important topic that you were writing about, made this article very interesting. I also like how you you put another persons point of view into your blog to make it sound more realistic. I really liked your blog and I hope I get to read another.

January 16, 2019 6:32 pm

Dear Beatriz, I am really convinced about your topic and why violence happens. When you say that violence happens because people who do such a thing don’t have role models in life I very much agree with you, since they grew up with a bad role model they think it’s okay to follow their lead, which really it isn’t. Also, when you explain about Travon Godfrey I think that experience also has to do with why people commit violence because they want to see people suffer, since they lost a loved one to gun violence. I think overall you chose a good topic to speak about, and maybe it might motivate others to remind themselves violence is not the answer, it never is. I think you did a great job and keep up the great work.

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