SAN ANTONIO — According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, gun violence is now the No. 1 cause of death of kids in the United States. Local organizers are calling for change. 

“You would think the world would be in an uproar about kids dying,” said Bennie Price.

As a part of San Antonio’s Dreamweek, the city-wide summit to ignite change, Price, the founder of Big Mama’s Safe House, wanted to address gun violence.

“I remember when dying was an old man’s sport, not anymore,” said youth gang expert Lloyd Patterson-Cantero.

They're having candid conversations about guns impact on Black and Brown communities. 

“The only thing there is drugs, violence, gangs — and that’s what they are attracted to,” said Hubert Brown, owner of Ball Hoggs BBQ.

Families of gun violence victims are crying out for more investments in troubled neighborhoods.

“That’s money we can put into the community, the families,” said Terrie Dixon, who’s related to gun violence victims. “To help parents understand how to better raise their children so you can stop it at this age. Because once they get a certain age, it’s no stopping it.” 

Advocates want to help kids understand that gangs and guns aren't the answer. 

“We got to do better at teaching our children that violence does not work,” Patterson-Cantero said.

According to the Gun Violence Archive, last year more than 43,000 people were killed across the country. That includes more than 1,500 kids.

“Firearm-related death and disability is, from my point of view as a trauma surgeon, the greatest pandemic of our children and young adults,” said Dr. Ronald Stewart, who’s worked in hospitals over 30 years.

Dr. Ronald Stewart says over the years, seeing gun violence victims has become a daily occurrence. He says we all need to work together to give youth hope for their futures.

“It’s going to take investments into the community and into the people who know exactly what the change that is needed is,” said Christina Delgado with the Community Justice Action Fund.

In 2022, Price shared with us how he witnessed gun violence growing up on San Antonio’s Eastside during the crack cocaine era.

“I grew up just a few blocks from here, called the Wheatley courts housing projects,” Price said.

As a teen, pulling the trigger landed him in prison for 20 years. 

“It corrupted my young mind at an early age,” Price said. “And before I could really make an adult decision, I was sitting in prison thinking I would never get out.”

Price got out in 2016 with a desire to change his community. Starting the nonprofit Big Mama’s Safe House, committing to end senseless gang and gun violence.

“We’re trying to reach the people before they get those guns,” Price said. “Because after they get to those guns, it’s kind of hard to take them from them.”

Price says he’ll continue working to stop shootings in our community as a violence interrupter. Showing kids there is another way. 

“We should be living the dream,” Price said. “We should have the opportunity to have a safe community.”