Shannon Daniel

I met Robert after my husband and I decided to get a divorce. Rob was smart, funny, charismatic and outgoing. He started staying with my children and me when my estranged husband started stalking me and threatening me and anyone that came to my home.

On October 6, 2014, Robert’s life was cut short by my mentally ill and abusive estranged husband.

Rob has two beautiful children that will forever be missing their father. He has family and friends whose lives are forever altered by this senseless act of violence. When asked what could have prevented this tragedy from happening, the first thing that comes to mind is that Ohio does not have Red Flag Laws or universal background checks. Either of these would have been enough to stop the purchase of the gun used that morning.

Rob was able to make every day fun, every outing an adventure, every meal a feast. The world needs more people like Rob. People who love with their whole heart. People who smile with their eyes. People who make sure you know you are important to them and that let you know you are loved. I miss him.

Stephanie Halfmoon

On May 17, 2017, our lives were forever changed. My Aunt Jeannie had just gotten home from her family’s house and was confronted by four teen boys. They were looking to steal another car, after the one they had previously stolen ran out of gas.

She had just gotten out of her car, and they ran up and tried grabbing her keys. She threw her drink at them, and one of the boys had a gun pointed at her. She reached out to grab the gun away from the boy, and he pulled the trigger and shot her in the face. She died immediately.

The boys took off, and one of her neighbors called the police to come. The detectives found that one of her neighbors had just installed a new camera on his balcony, and it caught everything that happened. They were able to catch the boys who did this. One of them was on his way to do it again, to someone else. Thank goodness they picked him up before it happened again to someone else. Two of the four boys are serving life sentences, and the other two are now out and back in the world.

Moe

My husband was shot and killed by a stray bullet on November 11, 2020. My husband was a good man who loved helping people. He was my husband, Chef Boyardee, Batman—could fix a sandwich and cook, cook. Everywhere he went he knew someone, and he was loved by so many people. I just thank God for him and for his being in my life; through the ups and downs, he was still there. He would give the shirt off his back and the shoes off his feet, if someone needed them.

Marcella loved the Lord. I’m going to miss him so much, but I thank God he’s in a better place and he has no more worries. He was a great man and loved you—from children, anybody’s child. He was killed three years after my grandson was killed, in 2017. I’m going to miss them so much and the family. We love you, Marcella and Timothy.

Jasmine

I’ll never forget the day my mother sat me down and told me that my cousin had died. I remember feeling my stomach drop at the news that my cousin, a beautiful mother of two kids, was dead.

When my mother told me how she died, I was appalled, angered and overcome with emotion. That was the day that gun violence personally impacted me. Jasmine became a victim of intimate partner gun violence. It is in remembrance and honor of Jasmine’s life and the lives of others lost to gun violence that I turned my anger and grief into activism.

Sarah Lewis, missing Zack Smith

Zack Smith was the love of my life. Our connection was brief but very deep. It was cut too short when he was murdered with a gun last month, on September 10, 2020.

Zack was the most beautiful, kind, smart, talented person I knew. He loved me; we had so many plans. Life will never be the same now. I’m shattered, devastated, lonely, outraged.

Melanie Jean Molica

Melanie was my cousin—more like my sister. We were “M&M” from birth, only a year and a half apart. Today is her birthday, and it has been 30 years since a celebration included her. Melanie and her fiancé, John, were shot to death by a jealous acquaintance in 1990. She was 21. The violence of this loss has never left me, her brother or her father, and many others. Grief is sneaky, fickle and follows no rules, especially with time. Especially with gun violence.

I want to say something to make her alive again. Her giggle still lives beneath the surface of my skin. I feel and hear the bubbling of that goofy laughter with warmth and joy and playfulness. I can see her face. Her pretty smile with an edge of naughtiness. She was the leader, the braver one. Our togetherness was salty and feisty, loud and fun, honest and true. She was smart. Aced the ACT. She ran fast. Track medal fast. She loved animals: Patches, her dog. The horses. The cat. She loved me, even when I couldn’t be brave. I do brave things in her name. I miss her. M&M forever.

Sarah Martin

In early September 2008, I received a call from my mother, telling me that her brother Thomas had entered the woods near his home with a gun and shot himself. He was being airlifted to his local hospital. My mother was headed to the hospital for support and to assist in making medical decisions. He so severely injured himself that the family decided to remove him from life support. He is no longer with us. A beloved friend, father and uncle, he is missed fiercely.

I will never forget that day. I carry the pain of this loss for not only myself but my family, as I volunteer with Moms Demand Action.

Olga Williams “Bonus Mom to Dom”

On July 19, 2015, Dominique was murdered by a senseless act of gun violence.

Dominique had a smile that was contagious. His heart was overwhelmed with joy, and he was faithful to his beliefs. Dominique’s love for his family and friends was immeasurable. He absolutely loved his family and knew what love was. That is why I #DoitforDom. Being his “Bonus Mom,” or “Momma Lo,” was a joy. Dominique was sure to have you laughing or playing video games or teaching you to take the perfect selfie. He was the best big brother that his baby sister Lindsay could have asked for, and I am so thankful that God allowed them to create a bond that Lindsay can cherish forever. His “Pops”—the name he called his daddy, Leroy—has lost a piece of his heart, and that is another reason why I will and cannot stop telling Dominique’s story.

Dominique’s life wasn’t short, but it was long and filled with love, kindness, and a light that will forever shine. This tragedy has turned pain into purpose! Dominique’s life mattered… and I am honored to be a Survivor Fellow.

Aunt Cheri

My niece was murdered by gun violence when she was 18 years old in Colorado, along with her 16-year-old boyfriend. Both lives were taken too soon.

Rose Mallinger, Tree of Life Synagogue

On October 27, 2018, while canvassing in Arizona for gun sense candidates for the upcoming general election, I received a call from my son in Pittsburgh. There was a mass shooting in progress there, at the Tree of Life Synagogue, and his great Aunt Rosie and cousin Andrea were inside. It wasn’t until later in the evening that we learned that Rosie and 10 other worshipers were killed and Andrea wounded. My children’s spry 97-year-old aunt was murdered, and their cousin wounded, in what was now the deadliest attack on a Jewish community in America.

Rose Mallinger, a mother of three, a grandmother and great-grandmother, was now dead—simply because she was practicing her faith in our country, where the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. This was just another senseless act of gun violence fueled by hatred, not unlike the all-too-often massacres of school children, in the LBGTQ community, and in communities of different races, colors and religions.