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Chris McGowan

In honor of Jonathan McGowan

Life as we had known it ended for the McGowan household on the night of Friday, October 13, 1995. My recently turned 19-year-old son, Jonathan, left the house to attend a party for a friend that was entering the Air Force. Thirty minutes later, we received a call from someone at the party telling us that Jonathan had been shot and that we should go to Einstein Hospital.

It seems another partygoer had arrived high, brandishing an illegal gun he had purchased to protect his household. We’ve been told by police that upon seeing the gun, my son left the yard and went to sit on front porch. Evidently, the shooter followed him and wanted my son’s seat. When Jon failed to get up, he put the gun to his left temple and pulled the trigger. He said it was an accident because he thought he had removed the bullets from the gun.

Jonathan was a peace-loving, funny, unique young man who had a way of engaging those around him. He loved life, and I loved him more than life. I was proud to call him my son and will yearn for him everyday I breathe.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.