Gun Safety Hits Home for Voters

By: Elizabeth Donatelli
By: Elizabeth Donatelli

November 7, 2005

Firearms are the leading cause of death behind car accidents for children 19 and under--this statistic is a reality for one local mother.

"My son found a gun and it accidentally discharged and it took his life. That was April 14, 2004," said Kara Gloeckner, who's son was killed by a gun.

Gloeckner taught her son Kody about guns, but that didn't prevent this accident, just days after his 13th birthday.

"I just feel obligated and called to help other people keep their children safe," said Gloeckner.

She put 81 t-shirts in her front yard to represent the 81 children dead from guns in Virginia in 2003.

"They say remember Kody and at the bottom, lock your guns," Gloeckner said.

Another local mother lost her son to a gun--this time it was an intentional shooting.

"In a split second, he took my son's life and landed himself in jail," said parent Dana Hatcher.

Her only son was 23 and the shooter not old enough to carry a gun. She says she never stops thinking of him.

"Every day of my life, every day," said Hatcher.

These women are part of the Million Mom March who fight for gun safety.

"Make sure that gun is put away unloaded. Make sure that the ammunition is stored in a separate place and people make sure that it is inaccessible to young children," said Hatcher.

If you own a gun--you can get a lock for free at your local police station.

Gloeckner put up the signs to remind people not to vote for a party, but the candidates who support gun safety. We contacted different rifle groups in the area to get their opinion, but they were unavailable for comment.

The National Rifle Organization, however, spent over $100,000 million on all safety and education programs during the last 10 years. In a statement they said: "The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the armed services."

For more information you can log onto their website: http://www.nrahq.org/safety/ or if you're interested in joining the Million Mom March you can call (434) 882-3909 or log onto their Web site at millionmommarch.com


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