I am writing on behalf of the 58% of Americans who have said they or someone they care for have experienced gun violence in their lifetime. America has a gun problem. We have more guns per person than any other country. And still today hundreds of lives are taken by gun violence. My family and I experience the heart break and devastation of gun violence firsthand.
After our son, Jared's life was taken by senseless gun violence. I will never forget the phone call I received from my husband while at work on July 14, 2015. I could barely understand what he was saying because he was so upset. Finally, after taking a deep breath he said the words, “Sharmaine, Jared is dead.”
Someone had left a note on our front door with the devastating news that our precious son was dead. That note and the loss it represented changed our lives forever. There are no words that can express the heartbreak of having to make funeral arrangements for your child.
Jared was loving and kind. He had a gentle spirit full of life and he was always happy. We learned later that our son was an innocent bystander after being struck in the head by a stray bullet was killed instantly. In a moment, the bright future of our 23-year-old son had been taken from him.
Five years later gun violence is plaguing our nation at alarming rates and I refuse to sit on the sidelines and not do something about it. Today, I advocate along with Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action fighting for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence.
We deserve to live free from gun violence in our homes, in our schools, in our houses of worship, in our workplaces and in our communities. As a Christian believer, I have faith that with prayer, and action, we can end our nation’s gun violence crisis. America! We are better than this and We as a Nation must End Gun Violence together!
Sharmaine Brown, Jared’s Mom.