I’m from a Gun-Owning Family, and I’ve Had Enough of Mass Tragedies
Our series “The NRA Doesn’t Speak for Me” highlights the voices and stories of responsible gun owners across the country advocating for gun safety.
I never want to see a tragedy like that devastate any community ever again. As a mother, I want to do everything in my power to prevent this from happening to another family.
My son made it home from school that day, but so many other families did not get to welcome their loved ones home. After the shooting, I co-founded the Honor with Action Coalition with seven other mothers to promote gun safety and school safety.
My passion for gun safety stems not only from my grief but also from my experience with firearms. I grew up in a gun-owning family and then married a law enforcement officer, so a culture of safe firearm ownership has always been a part of our home.
My children have been raised with an awareness of the guns we own and safe practices around firearms. We also invested in a biometric gun safe to ensure safe gun storage in the home. I view carrying a concealed weapon outside the home as a humble responsibility rather than a right to be flaunted or an intimidation tactic.
After Parkland, I began educating myself about our nation’s gun laws. I was shocked by what I learned.
At first, I was reluctant to believe that the NRA was to blame for our country’s lax gun laws. Then I learned how the NRA and the gun lobby have been deceiving Americans for years, taking a backdoor approach to slowly weakening our gun laws. They oppose the commonsense reforms that the majority of gun owners support, while claiming to represent us.
Extreme risk protection orders provide a proactive way to temporarily restrict a person showing clear warning signs of violence from accessing firearms.
I want background checks on every gun sale. I also want to allow for due process to temporarily remove firearms from those who pose an immediate threat to themselves or others.
I want law enforcement to have access to ATF data on gun dealers that may be fueling gun trafficking. And I want ghost guns to be regulated as firearms, because my teenager should not be able to purchase a ghost gun online and assemble that firearm in our garage.
When discussing gun safety with other gun owners, I find that they believe a lot of commonsense gun safety measures are already in place. Our legislators have failed to enact even the most basic gun violence prevention legislation—and many people don’t even know it.
Gun owners and all Americans should know that no family is safe from gun violence. I want to encourage my fellow gun owners not to let the gun lobby speak for you under the guise of protecting your Second Amendment rights when they are actually just protecting their profits. Remember, your rights include the right to not be a victim of gun violence.
In my family’s case, one mass shooting that lasted just a few moments caused the ripple effect of traumatizing thousands of people for a lifetime. Thousands.
Make gun violence prevention a top priority when voting for your elected officials. With the sharp rise in our country’s gun deaths over the past year, we simply cannot compromise on this issue any longer.
Americans are not as divided as it may seem. Join Giffords Gun Owners for Safety to stand in support of responsible gun ownership. We’ll share ways to connect with fellow gun owners and support our fight for a safer America.