July 28, 1973 the day Jason Green Fuller was born, a Saturday. Thursday, February 12, 1987 was the day my son Jason died. That's been 9 years now, and it never stops making me weak in the knees. Jason was killed while playing at his Father's home. A handgun left loaded and accessible. We've all read the stories in the newspapers. Jason's father and I were divorced and Jason was left "alone" at his father's home where his "new" stepmother collected handguns, and apparently left them loaded and unsecured. I've never dealt much with guns, I was a passifist in the '60's, and never allowed my sons to play with "toy" guns! It just never occurred to me that my sons would be exposed to weapons elsewhere!
Well its been 9 years now, I've spoken to civic groups, on television, and even made a PBS "safety announcement" about the "responsibility" of handguns in the home. I've demonstrated how you CAN secure the weapons in the home, I used a simple "padlock" and key in the trigger hole, its inexpensive and simple to use. I've argued with the Georgia legislature about a "Bill" to protect children in Georgia and punish people who don't take gun ownership seriously... to no avail. "Gun owners have rights too!" they shout at me, indignent that I would ever consider punishing or even "reminding" gun owners of their "responsibility". Well the owner of the gun that killed my son was never punished or even repremanded, and the guns are still there in her house, loaded and accessible to "anyone".
I will continue my crusade to "educate" America about the RESPONSIBILITY of gun ownership, I will continue to HONOR Jason's memory by telling his story, and I will continue to PRAY that we stop killing our children with carelesness and ignorance.
In the past week, we've lost two more children in Athens, Georgia... handguns left loaded and accessible. When will we wake up and realize that carelessness and ignorance is the enemy, handguns don't have minds, owners do!
My message to the world at large: Secure your weapons, weapons Kill, don't let the next person who uses your handgun be someone's CHILD, maybe even your own!!!
Judy T. Harper
You can send email to Judy at [email protected]