His birthday is in five days. He would’ve been 40.

Two years ago, my husband, the father of my now four-year-old, called me. We had just separated, and he said he’d always love me. I told him I’d always love him too. The next day, he dropped off our daughter at his mom’s after a day of swimming, drove home, went into my home office, carefully laid his wallet, cell phone, and gun receipt down on my desk, and then shot himself in the face. I don’t know how long he waited before pulling the trigger. I think about those moments often. What was he thinking about?

I don’t remember most of the six months of my life after his death, but I do vividly remember seeing the time-stamped gun receipt that showed he called me from the parking lot of the gun store. It’s cliché to say it, but the rest was like a dream. It felt so real at times, but so distanced other times. I honestly don’t know how I survived it. How I still survive it. I miss him every day. He was my best friend.


My husband, the father of our two sons, took his own life with a gun after experiencing an allergic reaction to a medicine for bipolar depression. It was a Friday night, and neither the doctor who prescribed the medicine, nor his father who was a doctor, would return his call for help. If only there were cell phones then. As long as I am alive, he will be remembered with love.

Donald Hughes

On Good Friday, April 6, 2012, my family’s life changed forever. My husband came home from grocery shopping for Easter dinner, and as he closed our back door, he was shot. Just a random act of violence that shattered our lives. No one has ever been brought to justice. I joined Moms Demand Action to be a voice.

Shannon Bradshaw

On April 26, 2008, a single shot from a high-powered gun was fired from a distance. It went through the back of my husband’s head, literally blew his head off and ended his life instantly. The same man who murdered my husband also intended to murder me and my son who was 14 months old at the time. That man had been out of prison less than two years, after spending 10 years in for attempted murder. He was also previously a fugitive of justice for an assault charge.

It is so important to combat gun violence and pass legislation for tougher gun laws. The more guns that are sold, the more are available for those with violent criminal intent to get their hands on and use to harm and kill. The man who murdered my husband stole seven guns from a legal gun owner and used one of those seven stolen guns to kill my husband.

Combatting gun violence and passing tougher gun laws can help to decrease gun violence, save lives and save other families from going through what I, my son and other survivors and grieving families have.

Rhonda Denise Cureton

I lived in an abusive relationship with my two youngest daughters’ father for 14 years. He was very controlling. I was afraid to leave. He drank a lot, and things were really bad when he did drink. In March 2016, I finally got tired. I told him I was going to take my three daughters and leave because no one deserved to live in hell and suffer the way we did every day. On March 12, 2016, he had been drinking, and he started fussing. I didn’t like talking to him when he was drinking. I was walking off to go into the house when he pulled out a revolver and told me I was going to die. He pulled the trigger and fired. The first shot scraped my ear and the second shot hit me in the head (it was a deep flesh wound, and I only ended up getting staples). But he was in a rage and he tried to shoot his own daughters. He shot and killed my 17-year-old daughter (not his daughter). She died protecting us. He also shot a good Samaritan who had stopped to help us. He then killed himself.


My ex-wife, after several years out of marriage, found herself with a house, husband and two sons that she loved but also hated. She had very low self-esteem and did not effectively communicate her concerns to people who loved her. One day it all came to a head as she became very agitated and out of control. Late that night, as I slept in bed, she shot me in the head. The bullet was a magnum higher powered projectile and so went straight through just below the brain, lodging in the opposite side of my skull rather than moving up in the direction of least resistance into my brain. I refused a request to press charges because I cared for her and felt guilty that I obviously couldn’t figure it all out. Also, jail time would do no good for our sons. She spent two months in a psychiatric facility and got some old, unresolved family-of-origin issues identified. The doctors said she would have either killed herself or harmed someone she cared about to change her old patterns. We remained married for an additional 10 years with some of her old patterns still haunting her.

Eugene Kelly

On June 28, 2010, I was working in a convenience store in Lakeview, North Carolina. Four young men robbed the store. Shot my husband, which was fatal. Also shot me. They were all captured. Took four years in court. All were convicted. Court was Moore County, Carthage, North Carolina. You never forget the nightmare. Something always comes up to remind you.

Deja Cline

March 11, 2011 will forever be one of the most haunting days of our lives. A simple argument between two adults at a child’s birthday gathering stripped my child’s father from her before she even turned one. The argument between two others resulted in physical altercations and eventually led to his death, so suddenly. He was telling the two adults to cut it out and was simply minding his business. I cannot believe that so many young men and women are dying from gun violence in the small town of South Bend. Yes, violence is everywhere, it just hits different when you’re not used to it in your community. I really pray for my city and those who are victims as well as perpetrators. God bless us all!

My soul mate Scott Breitinger

My name is Selene. My husband was murdered on April 3, 2016. Scott was going for a ride on his motorcycle like he did every Sunday. Scott was in a bad part of town, picking up his friend. He was in the alley, and a man jumped out from a metal trash can and shot Scott right in the gut. A woman tried helping, but was too late when the ambulance showed up. This man didn’t take anything — not his wallet, helmet. This was just a horrible murder. Scott was always home at 4. When 4 came around, he wasn’t home. Later I started calling him, the police… everywhere, no answers. That night we saw Scott’s bike and boots on the news. I knew. Then my heart stopped. Cops still wouldn’t give me an answer till the next day. The next day Scott and I were supposed to meet with our surrogate to get started on a baby. That was both of our dreams. The man that killed Scott destroyed my life and heart and his family and friends’. He was everyone’s best friend and helped anyone who needed it. I want the man caught so no one else has to go through this.

I lived / He died

I am the survivor of domestic gun violence by my suicided husband. I was sitting with my back to a window. He had taken off his shoes and walked along the building until he saw me. He shot me three times and then committed suicide. He was mentally ill. He had taken the gun from his sister’s house. It was not his gun.

I survived with a bullet wound to my left lung and my right arm. I was shot 26 years ago, and I deal with lung dysfunction in the form of asthma every day and have been dealing with PTSD from before the shooting and then the trauma of having almost died. I lived, and he died. It was sad for everyone. Mental illness is a horrible disease.