I was at church one January day in 2010 when I got a weird feeling. I knew something was wrong but I didn’t know what it was.
After church, I asked a friend to drive me to see my daughter Dana. When we got to her apartment, the door was locked and music was on really loud. That was when I knew something wasn’t right. I called the police right away. The moment the police opened the door, I knew Dana was gone.
She died by gun suicide on January 10, 2010. She was just 26 years old.
Dana was a special child. At nine years old, she taught herself to speak Arabic. I couldn’t believe it. She was always gifted, but she struggled with depression.
For a time when she was a young adult, Dana was doing well. She started writing and she got her own apartment in Seattle. But eventually, the depression returned.
She started talking about suicide and I was afraid she had a gun. I was so worried she would hurt herself that I called the police and asked them to take her gun. They said there was nothing they could do.
In Washington state back then, law enforcement and family members like me had no tools to help keep guns away from people in crisis.
That’s why I got involved in the campaign to pass Initiative 1491 and establish Extreme Risk Protection Orders. Because if Extreme Risk Protection Orders had been in place then, I might have been able to prevent my daughter from having the gun that killed her.
Since helping pass Extreme Risk Protection Orders in 2014, I have continued to fight for gun responsibility measures here in Washington because no one should have to live through the pain of losing a loved one to gun violence.
— Zoe Moore is Dana’s mother and a gun violence prevention advocate.