SAUGUS — Lynnette Alameddine lost her son in a school shooting at Virginia Polytechnic Institute almost 11 years ago, and she has spent many days since trying to ensure other parents don’t go through the same pain.
“Children should be educated early on gun safety,” she said. “The third leading cause of death in this country is from guns. If there’s a gun in their home, it should be locked up.”
Alameddine feels fortunate to live in Massachusetts, where gun laws are tougher than much of the nation, she said. But she believes it’s too easy for people to purchase guns from gun shows without a license, from the trunk of a car of an unlicensed dealer, she said.
“There shouldn’t be these assault weapons,” said Alameddine. “Some people have guns, and that’s their right, but people should be safe with them. Put gun locks on them, lock them away, don’t have them nearby.”
The Saugus resident is actively involved with groups that aim to prevent gun violence, including Moms Demand Action and Everytown For Gun Safety. She is pushing for the legislature to support the Extreme Risk Protection Order, which would allow families and law enforcement to petition the court to temporarily suspend a person’s access to firearms if there is documented evidence the individual intends to harm him or herself or others.
The order is intended to eliminate the gap in gun laws that make it hard to keep firearms away from people threatening violence.
She plans to continue talking to state representatives and encourage them to sign the bill, and hopes to see more people get involved.
“Know who you’re voting for and know their beliefs so you can make the decision,” she said.