To The Daily Sun,
Three years ago — September 24, 2010 — in the early morning hours my daughter, Alexandra Engler, was in her kitchen in Baton Rouge making coffee, and studying before getting her daughter up, taking her to school then going to work. A man broke into her home, put a bullet in her head — execution style, then emptied his gun into my 9-year-old granddaughter, Ariana, leaving her for dead. The obituary in local papers passed unnoticed except for folks who are acquainted with me.
This was a horrific crime — even for Baton Rouge which has one of the highest per capita crime rates in the country. While it doesn't command national attention compared to the Aurora theater massacre, the Newtown school tragedy and now the shooting rampage in our nation's capital, it isn't just one more byline to me. And I ask your readers, shouldn't this mean something to you too? Where is this country on gun control? Don't start groaning that I'm some liberal nut. My husband is a member of the NRA and the Pemi Fish & Game Club. He and many other acquaintances are responsible gun owners, and to jump to a conclusion that the right to bear arms will be trampled is a far cry from requiring background checks for those who purchase firearms. Would a background check have saved my daughter's life? I don't know the answer, but it might someday save someone's life, and that's worth it to me!
I applaud Senator Shaheen for her support last April for the Manchin-Toomey proposal — a measure for additional background checks through gun-dealers and gun shows, and I wrote Senator Ayotte expressing my disappointment for her lack of support.
For my part, in honor of the memory of my daughter, I must speak my mind today because if just one life is spared, I will have helped with positive change, and my beautiful daughter's brutal, senseless murder will not have been in vain.
Bonnie M. Hunt