"You live by the sword, you die by the sword."
That's what Taria Mayo-Giddings wanted kids to take away from their trip this past Saturday to Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. Mayo-Giddings and Danielle Marshall organized the trip in connection with the hospital's Cradle2Grave program, a violence-prevention program that introduces at-risk youth to the visceral consequences of gun violence.
Several dozen students joined the adults, along with other community activists and Municipal Council President Gary Simpson, to tour the hospital and talk with doctors about what happens to a person when they come to the hospital with a gun shot wound or other serious violence-related trauma.
Mayo-Giddings hoped that showing the kids what happens in other areas where the violence is more prevalent than it is in Norristown might help them to make the right choice when it comes to their own lives.
"I wanted to show them that outside of Norristown, people really suffer through violence every day," said Mayo-Giddings.
The children were introduced to the results of autopsies and surgeries on victims of guns, knives and even some victims of relationship abuse who had died as a result.
Mayo-Giddings hopes the children take the message to heart.
"When you visit the hospital, hopefully you're just visiting a sick person," she said. "And not the morgue where you can't come back."