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South Carolina mother creates nonprofit in honor of 17-year-old son killed by gun violence

(Photo courtesy of Antrinette Means family)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH) -- Antrinette Means has a message, Ballz up Guns down, its a non profit she created. Her son 17-year-old Amon Rice was a star basketball player for Lower Richland High school who lost his life to gun violence in May.

She's encouraging young people to find more positive outlets to avoid teen drama. Twenty-two people were arrested in the case. Some are out on bond and will be returning back to the school where Amon once attended. Now Means is determined to keep any retaliation from happening. “I am going to fight as much as I can behind this gun violence, this gun violence, these kids getting guns like they getting a shirt.” Means said. “Just please go to school get your education, like when you say I am balling for Amon, I am doing this for Amon, do it for Amon.”

Means said she’s on a mission and hoping to steer teens away from using guns. It comes during a time when she would be preparing for her son's senior year. "It seems like it's hurting more every day than getting a little bit better but I can say that my strength is stronger.” Means said. “Parent want me to talk to their kids or something that they are doing that could lead up to this (pointing to her son's grave), I'm down.”

According to a study by Brady Campaign.org more than 17,000 children including teens are shot by guns every year and more than 2,000 die from gun violence. “I couldn't save my baby,” Means said. “But I feel like out of everything that's going on in this world I'm going to save somebody, I am going to save some kids.”

A Gofundme page has been set up by the family that will help facilitate guest speakers for various events aimed at fighting gun violence. You can help the efforts by clicking here.

Means encourages parents to be involved and have conversations with their teens before and after school. She said even the smallest details about their day could keep them alive.

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