A Teen's Letter to the President about Gun Violence Resulted in Something Pretty Amazing

January 20th 2015

ATTN: Staff

Malik Bryant, a 13-year-old, will be at the State of the Union tonight. Bryant, a resident of Chicago, sent a letter to Santa asking for safety for Christmas. The teen lives in the Englewood neighborhood on the south side of the city. Residents there have endured years of violent crime in their neighborhood. 

The letter wound its way from the organization that sponsored the letter-writing drive to a US Congressman to the White House. President Obama eventually wrote back. And tonight, Bryant will be a special guest of the First Lady's at the president's State of the Union address in Washington.

The Chicago Sun-Times posted the letter today. In the letter to Santa, Bryant said:

But anyway all I ask for is for safety. I just wanna be safe.

And the president's response included this:

Please know your security is a priority for me in everything I do as President. If you dare to be bold and creative, work hard every day, and care for others, I’m confident you can achieve anything you imagine . . . and I will be rooting for you.

There have been efforts to curb gun violence in Chicago. Check out our coverage to learn more about these solutions. For more on the epidemic of gun violence in America, here's a short video: