Six months ago, Nicole’s 20-year-old daughter, Ronique, was shot and killed. This is Nicole, on the right of the photo, marching against gun violence today.
Nicole’s poster shows pictures of her beautiful daughter. Also shown in this photo are her youngest daughter and her niece.
Ronique was in a car with two young men, when a car pulled alongside theirs and took deliberate aim at someone in the car – probably the driver. The two men escaped unhurt, but Ronique died instantly.
This is Anne.
Anne’s orange badge says “SURVIVOR”, not because she survived a gunshot, but because she survived the grief of losing her son to a gunshot. He died ten years ago at the age of 18. He was in someone else’s house and saw a gun on a counter. Larking around in front of his mates, he picked up the gun and put it to his head. He didn’t know that the trigger was set light because the owner’s fingers weren’t strong enough to pull it at normal tension. The gun blew Anne’s son’s head off.
Anne worries about her son’s friends, who witnessed the accident. She thinks they feel guilty, but she doesn’t hold them responsible. She blames this country’s stupid gun laws.
People in America are astounded when we tell them that there are hardly any guns in Britain. The only ones I’ve seen are those used to hunt grouse and pheasants, and policemen carry truncheons instead of guns. When my British nephews were given guns at Christmas, they were just toys. There’s no danger that the boys will grow up wielding guns in anger, because there aren’t any to wield. But here in America, when other mothers ask if your young children would like to come over to play, you have to ask if there are any guns in the house. And the answer, “Yes, but they’re locked away safely” doesn’t wash. Every year, 17,000 children are shot because a gun isn’t locked away safely enough. That’s 48 every day.
More guns mean more murders, more suicides and more accidents. The gun laws here are stupid.