Gun violence prevention workshop now in 6 New Mexico schools

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence is taking steps to educate more young teens about preventing gun violence, through its eight-week course in six middle and high schools across the metro.

The organization is working with several people who can speak from firsthand experience with gun violence, like Javier Vazquez, who got shot in 2011, when he was fifteen.

An argument started at school, and he made plans to fight someone off campus. But that fight changed everything for him.

“Whenever I got there, when I started fighting, I ended up getting shot twice,” said Vazquez. “I ended up paralyzed from the waist down.”

Now years later, he’s using that experience to help other teens avoid the same fate. He signed on with New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence to speak to middle and high school students in its gun violence prevention workshop. It’s an eight-week course full of speakers, films, and most importantly, discussion.

“Our children are literally shooting and killing each other. And we have to ask ourselves as adults in this community, what can we do to stop these triggers from being pulled,” said Miranda Viscoli, co-president of New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence. “We think it’s as important that we’re listening to them and what they have to say. It’s not about us talking at our children and our teens, it’s about listening to them so that we can come together to find solutions.”

The organization is also spearheading a new mural project at the San Pedro library. The theme is “Burque Cares.”

Several Bernalillo County agencies pitched in for the interactive mural, that will include audio of poetry, and a 3D experience for teens.

The organization plans to bus in groups of children from across the city once the mural is done. Painting starts next week.

New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence has the capacity for more schools, so if you’re interested in bringing the workshop to your school, reach out here.