March For Our Lives: Zion Kelly on Losing His Twin Brother Zaire Kelly in Washington, D.C.

Hello everyone. My name is zion kelly, and i’m a senior at thurgood marshall academy here in washington, d.C. I’m here to represent the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of students who live every day in constant paranoia and fear on their way to and from school.

At this moment, please raise your hand if you have been affected by gun violence, to honor the ones you have lost. Today, I raise my hand in honor of my twin brother, zaire kelly.

Zaire was shot on september 20th, 2017, on his way home from a competitive college counseling after-school program called college bound. Zaire had the personality that would light up the room.

He was energetic and full of dreams and aspirations. He was our team captain on the track team. He was running for student government president, and he was a youth councilmember.

He aspired to be a forensic scientist and attend florida a& m university for undergrad. Zaire was also the best dresser I knew, with the most style.

He was a person, a leader, an inspirer, not just another statistic. I was in contact with zaire while he was walking home, texting him and calling him all through the night.

About 20 to 30 minutes went by, and I became worried, because the walk alone doesn’t even take 30 minutes. I left my room to ask my mom where he was, until I saw flashing blue and red lights outside my window.

I told my parents that there were police cars and an ambulance on our street. We rushed outside, discovering that it was zaire. That night, on september 20th, a robber with a gun was lurking on my streets for hours.

On my way—on my walk home, he attempted to rob me, but I ran. Though he had an ankle monitor on and he was supposed to be monitored by the police, he was still able to obtain a gun illegally and lurk in my streets and take my brother’s life.

He shot my brother in the head. Once we arrived to the hospital, he was pronounced dead. From the time we were born, we shared everything, including issues. I spent time with him every day, because we went to the same school, shared the same friends, and we even shared the same room.

Can you imagine how it would be to lose someone that close to you? Sadly, too many of my friends and peers can. This school year alone, my school lost two students to senseless gun violence: paris brown and my brother zaire kelly.

This year alone in january, they were six students killed under the age of 19 by guns here in washington, d.C, and in my brother's name, my family is proposing the zaire kelly public safety zone amendment act for 2018.

This act aims to create safe passage zones for students to and from schools and other activities by expanding the definition of a student. With this amendment, a student would be defined by any person enrolled in a public or private day care center, elementary school, vocational school, secondary school -- excuse me.

in college, junior college, university. It expands gun free zones to include recreation centers. This amendment means that every student in washington, d.C. Would carry the protection of my brother's name and ensure the safety as they travel to and from schools.

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