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Jeff Bozell

In memory of Bob Bozell

My dad, Bob Bozell, died by his own gun at age 37. He left behind my mom (37 years old), my older brother (7 years old), myself (3 years old) and my sister (6 weeks old). He was also survived by his two brothers.

I mention his family because, although he had a lot of life ahead of him, it was we who have dealt with the trauma of his death since the fall of 1989. I was only three but I have lived everyday with the pain of his loss. It has affected relationships, my confidence and every other aspect of my life. As a child, I always felt like I was drowning — there was nothing I could do to get away from the sadness of growing up without a dad.

By all accounts, Dad was a loving father who cared deeply about those around him, family or otherwise. Though I spent only three years with him, I am convinced that part of his story lives on in me. I am sharing my experience to help others because I too care about those around me, and I believe that we can reduce gun violence through common sense. I see firsthand what gun violence can do to a family and a community, and I want to be part of the solution.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.