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My son Johnathan

I was married to a man who controlled me, who terrified me. One of his favorites was to either threaten me by hitting me or aiming at me as if he were going to shoot me. He fooled me and the courts and got custody of my son. My final straw was a very severe beating, along with the threat of, “If you ever try to take him, I will kill you, and if I can’t find you, I’ll start with your sister and her three boys.” One more way to control me.

I believed him. I never imagined he would hurt my son.

In June 1983, I received a call where I couldn’t figure out who this person was. Finally she blurted out, “He killed them, he shot and killed the baby [my son] and my mother. They found the bodies on May 11, the day after Mothers Day, he committed suicide by gun!” Without names I knew who she was referring to. My son was four and a half years old. Now I fight gun violence! #Memoriesthatsurvive

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.