In last month’s Teen Ink, the poem “If They Gunned Me Down” was published in the memoirs section. This poem by Nick Courmon is tragically relevant in today’s society. It poignantly imagines what would happen if the author was shot by police, and the impact that it would have on his community and the nation. Written in beautiful rhyme, the piece tackles the harrowing issue of shootings and police brutality in our country, especially for young African American citizens.
We are constantly being reminded of this issue in the media, but Nick told a heart-rending side of it that we rarely hear: the perspective of the victim. Perhaps the most moving part of this poem is when Nick asks, “Even though I was the prey, would they treat me like the predator? Would they pull a Fox News and assassinate my character? If they gunned me down how long would I stay relevant?” The author goes deeper into the issue, calling out the media for the common practice of blaming the victim instead of the perpetrator of an act of fear and prejudice. In these lines, and throughout the piece, the author eloquently shows us how important it is to remember those impacted by gun violence.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.