(Pat Greenhouses/Globe Staff)
Kim Odom was all but paralyzed by grief for almost a year after her 13-year-old son, Steven, was fatally shot near the family’s Dorchester home in 2007.
Today, the active and outspoken advocate in the fight against gun violence pledged to make certain that her son did not die in vain.
“Steven’s life doesn’t end on the sidewalk,” Odom said in a moving speech at a State House rally to support Governor Deval Patrick’s proposal to reduce illegal firearm violence.
The bill, which would limit gun purchases and toughen firearm penalties, was considered all but dead just last week. But following the rally today, the House voted 111-32 to recommit the bill to the Judiciary Committee for a re-vote.
Dozens of antiviolence activists stood outside the Hooker entrance of the State House holding signs that read ‘Where did the gun come from?’ alongside a picture of a handgun with a drop of blood leaving the barrel. The Boston Police Department displayed 12 unloaded automatic weapons to highlight the bill’s One-Gun-A-Month clause, which would limit gun purchasers to one firearm per month.
“The 12 guns here represent the 12 guns that people can still buy in Massachusetts if the governor’s gun bill passes,” said John Rosenthal, president of Stop Handgun Violence and a gun owner himself. “No law-abiding gun owner needs more than 12 guns a year.”
On Monday, House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo committed to working with Patrick to push for the bill, for which Odom voiced her deep appreciation.
“He [Patrick] has heard the voices of many of us parents who have lost their children,” she said at the rally. “This is my reality and the reality of too many.”
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