On Christmas Eve 1997, Brian Crowell was at his best friend's house. While Brian was on the phone with his sister, Brian's friend decided to show him the gun that he had recently discovered hidden in his mother's room. The friend's mother kept the unlocked and loaded gun for protection. His friend thought he removed all of the bullets from the chamber. One bullet remained. Playing, Brian's friend pulled back the hammer, listening to the clicks of what he believed was an unloaded gun. The gun fired and shot Brian in the neck as he was hanging up the phone. Brian's last words were "I can't believe you shot me."
Brian tried to run home, just around the corner. He only made it to his friend's living room, where he collapsed on the floor. His mother and father were notified by the police of the accident and asked to get to the hospital as soon as possible. Brian's parents were unaware of the circumstances of the accident until they reached the hospital. Frantic efforts were made to save Brian's life, including surgery, but in a short period of time Brian's parents were told that they needed to say good-bye. Brian only had a few heart beats left.
"There will always be a hole in the family where Brian used to be. The family will never have the pleasure of watching Brian grow up and do all the things that children do, like go to the prom, graduate from high school, college, marry, and become a father.
It is my mission to get the message out to others about handgun safety and how the terrible accident that took our son from us could have been prevented. And should have been prevented. Education of our children is one thing ... but I feel that the adult owner of a handgun should be responsible for accessibility and safe storage of their handgun."
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- Brian's mother Ann Marie Crowell
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