My father was murdered 56 years ago this October. I was four years old.
The impact of gun violence lasts a lifetime. It continues to ripple through my mother, my brothers, our children and our children’s children’s lives. I have a four-year-old granddaughter. I know in my bones that if she were to lose her dad to gun violence, it would change her DNA. This is a trans-generational trauma. We weren’t offered support then, nor is it widely available now.
To this day, I’m received with gasps when I say my father was murdered. There is nowhere to go when this is the reaction. Unless you too have experienced gun violence, you can’t grasp the horror. People put their head in their hands and thank God they haven’t had the experience, or they ask, or wonder, what my dad did wrong to have been murdered. (Nothing — it was an armed robbery at his place of employment. ) I have spent my lifetime attempting to heal from such a humanitarian wound. A human being intentionally used a weapon to kill my father.
Humans are fallible; guns are not. They only have one purpose.