Moms speaking out about gun violence
BOWLING GREEN, Ky.- Two Bowling Green moms are speaking out about the dangers of leaving guns where anyone can get their hands on them.
Haley Rinehart knows from personal experience the risks when it comes to guns getting in the wrong hands. She’s sharing her story to prevent others from going through a similar tragedy.
Haley’s son Eli was just four years old when he got his hands on a gun while spending time at his grand-parent’s home in Edmonson County.
“He said he just wanted to see what a missile, which is what he called a bullet, looked like. He didn’t mean it that seriously, but unfortunately the gun did slip in his hand because of the weight and he shot himself in the head,” said Rinehart.
Like most parent’s Rinehart taught her son not to touch guns. Like most children, however, Eli was curious. His curiosity cost him dearly.
“It’s been hard. There’s been anger, frustration, bullying has been horrible. People make fun of him because he looks different. He has a prosthetic eye, so his eye droops a little on the right side. It’s hard watching your child go through that,” said Rinehart.
Now 18 years later, Haley wants her story to inspire others to learn more about gun safety, and she’s not alone. Chasity Rodgers Dunn has also experienced personal tragedy involving gun violence.
“I do feel like the amount of gun violence is increasing. In my lifetime I have lost several friends to gun violence. A lot of those cases are still unsolved. I know several people who have lost family members in addition to friends to gun violence,” said Dunn.
Recent school shootings in Kentucky and around the state have caused Dunn to fear sending her children to school.
“Unfortunately, I have to worry about them going to school and there being a shooting. My oldest two children will text me when the school is on lock down for a threat and that’s something growing up that we didn’t have to deal with,” said Dunn.
Both Rinehart and Dunn are wearing orange for the rest of the month to raise awareness about ending gun violence.