16 Powerful Images of Gun Violence Survivors: Let's Listen to What They Have to Say (PHOTOS)

16 Powerful Images of Gun Violence Survivors: Let's Listen to What They Have to Say (PHOTOS)

Yvonne Crasso

We, the people, can be devastatingly awful sometimes. Perhaps the most constant example of that? EVERY day, 88 Americans die due to gun violence and hundreds more are injured.

In honor of that chilling statistic, two gun safety groups -- Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America -- have put together a photo tribute series. Not of politicians stumping for gun control laws or graphic crime scenes, but of survivors.

Survivors of mass shootings. Survivors of random acts of gun violence. Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters of victims -- and victims themselves -- they've all have taken the pledge, "Not one more."

The people featured here "are a powerful reminder of why moms around the country are fighting to reduce gun violence in America," says Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action. "Despite the pain they have endured personally, they all have pledged to fight so no other American experiences what they have."

Click through the slideshow to read about some truly inspiring survivors of gun violence. We'll warn you now, you'll need tissues. And when you're done (and have given your kids a hug) visit Everytown to see what YOU can do to make a difference.

Because honestly, each one of us can.

How have you been affected by gun violence?


All images via Henry Leutwyler

  • Because Playdates Should Never Be Fatal

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    Image via Henry Leutwyler

    "This 4th of July, I Pledge: Not One More human to be killed by mindless gun violence. Being complacent breeds an environment in which these senseless deaths continue."

    --DARCHEL MOHLER is the mother of Brooklynn Mae Mohler, 13, who was unintentionally shot and killed by an unsecured gun in 2013.

     

  • Because Schools Should Be Safe

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    Image via Henry Leutwyler

    "This 4th of July, I Pledge: Not One More because I know that background checks save lives. We won't give up until these common-sense gun laws can be found in all 50 states."

    --COLIN GODDARD was shot four times during the mass shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007, in which 32 students and professors were murdered.

  • Because We Want to Protect Our Children From Harm

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    Image via Henry Leutwyler

    "This 4th of July, I Pledge: Not One More because I, along with countless others, have suffered long enough from the effects of gun violence. The violence ripples through families and communities like a high tide storming the coast."

    --DEANDRA YATES is the mother of DeAndre Yates, 13, who was shot at a birthday party in 2014. A bullet struck DeAndre's skull, leaving him unable to walk or talk.

  • Because No Mother Should Outlive Her Daughter

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    Image via Henry Leutwyler

    "This 4th of July, I Pledge: Not One More because we are losing our younger generation to senseless gun violence.  I swear that my daughter's death will not be in vain, and that there will be justice for all mankind."

    -- DIANA ALVARADO RODRIGUEZ is the mother of Samantha Guzman, 18, who was shot and killed in 2008 while coming home from a party.

    More from The Stir: A Sandy Hook Mom on Newtown 2 Years Later: 'We Don't Say It's An Anniversary'

  • Because No One's Heart Should Be This Heavy

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    Image via Hentry Leutwyler

    "This 4th of July, I Pledge: Not One More for those who have been killed and for those who have not yet been affected. It is with a heavy heart that we, as survivors, fight for those who have been wrongly taken from us."

    --JACOB MOHLER is the father of Brooklynn Mae Mohler, 13, who was unintentionally shot and killed by a friend with an unsecured gun in 2013.

  • Because We Want to Be Able to Stand Up for Ourselves

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    Image via Henry Leutwyler

    "This 4th of July, I Pledge: Not One More because no one should know this pain. Sensible gun reforms can curb gun violence and save others from being killed or injured with guns."

    --JENNIFER LONGDEN was shot in 2004. She uses a wheelchair because one of the bullets caused a serious spinal cord injury and paralyzed her.

  • Because Bad Guys Don't Need Guns

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    Image via Henry Leutwyler

    "This 4th of July, I Pledge: Not One More because gun violence is unacceptable, senseless -- and preventable."

    -- JUDI RICHARDSON is the mother of Darien Richardson, 25, who was shot during a home invasion in 2010. She later died from complications caused by the gunshot wounds. The homicide case is still unsolved.

  • Because Domestic Abuse Is Already Frightening Enough

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    Image via Henry Leutwyler

    "This 4th of July, I Pledge: Not One More because I've felt anguish from the depths of my soul because of the murder of my daughter Nicolette."

    --MADELEINE GARCELON is the mother of Nicolette Elias, 46, who, in 2014, was shot and killed by her ex-husband, who later shot and killed himself.

    More from The Stir: Restraining Order Doesn't Stop Woman's Violent Ex-Husband Who Was Allowed to Keep His Guns

  • Because No Parent Should Have to Bury a Child

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    Image via Henry Leutwyler

    "This 4th of July, I Pledge: Not One More because gun violence destroys lives, families, and communities. No parent should have to bury a child. It's a wound that does not heal."

    --MAXINE LEWIS is the mother of Carlton Locksley, 16, who was shot and killed in 1993. He was targeted for his gold chain necklace.

  • Because No Child Should Die on Their Birthday

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    Image via Henry Leutwyler

    "This 4th of July, I Pledge: Not One More person should be killed from gun violence because I never want anyone to experience the pain I feel every single day."

    --NATASHA CHRISTOPHER is the mother of Akeal Christopher, who was shot in 2012. He died on his 15th birthday.

  • Because Life Matters

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    Image via Henry Leutwyler

    "This 4th of July, I Pledge: Not One More person should be killed from gun violence -- because life matters."

    --PATRICIA CRAIG is the aunt of Ryan "Stack" Clark, 22, who was one of the 32 people shot and killed in the 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech.

  • Because Families Shouldn't Be Torn Apart

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    Image via Henry Leutwyler

    "This 4th of July, I Pledge: Not One More because too many people have already died. Fighting to save American lives from gun violence is one of the most deeply patriotic things you can do."

    --RICHARD MARTINEZ is the father of Christopher Michaels-Martinez, 20, who was one of six people shot and killed in the 2014 mass shooting near the campus of UC Santa Barbara in Isla Vista, CA.

    More from The Stir: Mom Killed By 2-Year-Old Son While Out Shopping

  • Because Children Deserve to Grow Up With Parents

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    Image via Henry Leutwyler

    "This 4th of July, I Pledge: Not One More person should be killed from gun violence because life is a gift, and should be valued by all."

    --SANDRA ROUGIER is the mother of Teshawn Samuel, 18, who was shot and killed in 1999 while handing out invitations to his daughter's 4th birthday party.

  • Because Our Current Laws Aren't Enough

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    Image via Henry Leutwyler

    "This 4th of July, I Pledge: Not One More because my sister Nicolette was murdered by someone who never should have had access to guns. Now I'm raising her two daughters who were orphaned by this avoidable violence."

    --SONIA DE LEON is the sister of Nicolette Elias, 46, who, in 2014, was shot and killed by her ex-husband, who later shot and killed himself.

  • Because It's Time To Do the Right Thing

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    Image via Henry Leutwyler

    "This 4th of July, I Pledge: Not One More because gun violence has taken too many lives in this country. It's time to do the right thing and stand up for gun safety."

    --WAYNE RICHARDSON is the father of Darien Richardson, 25, who was shot during a home invasion in 2010. She later died from complications caused by the gunshot wounds. The homicide case is still unsolved.

  • Because We All Have the Right to Be Safe

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    Image via Henry Leutwyler

    "This 4th of July, I Pledge: Not One More because this world should be safe for us all."

    -- YVONNE CRASSO is the sister of Nina Michele Bradley, 23, who was in a relationship with a history of domestic abuse and was found shot dead of a gunshot wound in 2012. The incident was ruled a suicide.

    More from The Stir: Shooting Survivor Gabrielle Giffords' Perfect & Emotional Words About Guns Are a Must-Watch (VIDEO)

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