Gun violence first entered my consciousness when 12 students were killed at Columbine High School when I was a teenager — 13 years before the birth of my first daughter.
Aurora was on my list of baby names, but after the Aurora theater shooting took place, I crossed it off the list and named my daughter Allie, instead. When she was 3 months old, my heart broke as I clutched her to my chest watching parents grieve their children killed in the Sandy Hook School shooting. Then Parkland happened, 17 students murdered within the space of an hour at the same time I was registering my oldest daughter for kindergarten.
For some, gun violence always happens somewhere else to someone else, until you have to attend a funeral, like in Dayton, El Paso, Brooklyn, Chicago or Las Vegas.
Because no one is immune to gun violence and because I’m a mom, I feel compelled to take some kind of action that would prevent a child dying by gun violence. I now volunteer with Moms Demand Action, the largest grassroots gun violence prevention organization in the country. We work around the country every day to reduce gun violence. The next time our local group will take to the streets will be Saturday, for a rally in Charleston. If you’re concerned, too, please join us. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/momsdemandactionwv.