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By the age of 18, I had already lost three friends to gun violence. David, a family friend, was the first, in 1974. His best friend thought he was a deer in a bush, but it was David, using the bathroom. The second friend I lost was Jimmy. We worked together on classwork; I was peer tutoring him in English and social studies. He was funny and shy and created a hole in my day after he unintentionally shot himself while at a friend’s house. Greg, the third friend, was one of the first people I met when I moved to Arkansas in third grade. We grew up together; although we ran in different crowds in high school. His death by suicide, the day after we graduated, rocked me.

These deaths caused me to never let my children enter a home with a gun. They left me terrified of guns—until I found Moms Demand Action, learned of safe gun storage and met responsible gun owners. Since I was 12 years old, I have been looking for a way to make a difference. I found it! Moms!

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.