Tomorrow, June 2, is National Gun Violence Awareness Day. It’s a time to reflect on the problem of gun violence in America, which takes 93 lives every day. I am committed to doing all I can, as Mayor, to keep our community safe, and that includes sensible measures that keep firearms out of the wrong hands and encourage responsible gun ownership.
Gun violence has touched many members of the Melrose community personally, and I’m turning over this space today to one of those people, Lynnette Alameddine, who lost her son Ross, a graduate of St. Mary’s School, in the Virginia Tech shooting of 2007.
My name is Lynnette Alameddine. My precious 20 year old son, Ross, was murdered in the Virginia Tech Massacre on April 16, 2007. 32 innocent lives were taken and 17 students were injured. Ross was intelligent, kind and musically talented. He had a dry wit and loved making people laugh. There is not a day goes by that I don’t think of him. The shooter was a senior and never should have been able to purchase weapons as he had been admitted to a hospital with suicidal and homicidal ideations. He was not entered into the National Instant Criminal Background System (NICS).
Since then, I’ve been advocating for gun sense and awareness with Everytown for Gun Safety. June 2nd is National Gun Violence Awareness Day # Wear Orange. This day was chosen because it was the birthday of Hadiya Pendleton, whose life was taken in the streets of Chicago two weeks after performing for President Obama. Her friends wore orange because that is the color hunters wear so they won’t get shot. Wearing orange soon turned to a national campaign. Please join me and wear orange to honor those who lost their lives to gun violence and those who survived.