Those are the words Zina Haughton spoke in a Milwaukee courtroom last Thursday as she begged for protection from her abusive husband.
The restraining order the court granted was supposed to keep him away from her. And it was supposed to keep him away from guns.
But a loophole in our laws allows just about anyone to buy a gun – with no background check, and no questions asked.
That’s what Zina’s husband did. And on Sunday, he went to the spa where she worked and opened fire. He murdered his wife and two others, he wounded four more, and finally, he pointed the muzzle at himself.
I know that domestic violence has touched many of your families, as it has touched my own.
I’m asking for your help. For our mothers, our sisters, our daughters – and for the millions of American women who have looked at a loved one past the barrel of a gun.
Zina’s husband should never have had that gun. Once he was subject to a restraining order, he was barred from buying or possessing one. But our laws gave her killer two choices. He could go to a licensed gun dealer and fail a background check. Or he could find a private seller, avoid a background check, and make an anonymous cash transaction.
So he went to Armslist.com and found someone with a .40-caliber handgun to sell.
It’s time to close this lethal loophole that makes buying a gun as easy as turning on a computer. We have to require a background check for every gun sale. That’s something 74 percent of NRA members support. And it would save countless lives – maybe even Zina’s.
On this Domestic Violence Awareness Month, on the eve of this pivotal election, I’m asking you to Demand A Plan to reduce gun violence from President Obama and Governor Romney.
Do it for the more than 4,000 American women who will be murdered by an intimate partner in the next president's term – more than half of them with guns.