My daughter Sarah was shot and killed 20 years ago by an ex-boyfriend who had access to an illegal gun. She was just about to celebrate her 20th birthday; despite some challenges, she was beginning to find her place in life when it was so suddenly and tragically cut short. I was informed of Sarah’s death by two detectives who came to my place of work. Driving home in a state of numbness, I had to tell Sarah’s 16-year-old sister what had happened when she returned home from school. I think that was the hardest task a father can imagine.
If Sarah’s killer had not had such easy access to a gun, she would still be with us today and be 40 years old. Domestic gun violence against women is the second most common type of gun fatality after suicide and almost never receives much attention because it is so common. It is imperative that Congress reauthorizes the Violence Against Women Act and implements federal red flag laws (Extreme Risk Protection) so that women are no longer as vulnerable to abuse and violence.