Rolling Out

Chicago moms mourn the loss of their sons on Mother’s Day; read their stories

Shundra Robinson with son Deno Wooldridge
Shundra Robinson with son Deno Wooldridge (Photo courtesy: Family)

“My name is Shundra Robinson. I’m a member of the Sisterhood support group for mothers who have lost their children to gun violence. My son, Deno Wooldridge, who was my only child at the time, was murdered on Oct. 18, 2010, while standing on his grandmother’s porch. He was 18 years old at the time. What people need to know is that this is a pain with no name.

Shundra Robinson with son Deno Wooldridge (courtesy: family)
Shundra Robinson with son Deno Wooldridge (Photo credit: Eddy “Precise” Lamarre for Steed Media Service)

“It is hard to live after the death of a child, but through the grace and the strength of God, you learn to daily. I have decided to remove the exclamation point and insert a comma, because God allowed me to see that there’s a ‘to be continued’ concerning my son.

Gwen Baxter and Larry Harper Jr
Gwen Baxter and Larry Harper Jr.

(Photo credit: Eddy “Precise” Lamarre for Steed Media Service)

After Gwen Baxter lost her son, Larry Harper, 22, to gun violence in December of 2003, she founded the organization Youth Voices Against Violence, which organizes young people to persuade peers to take a non-violence pledge and get involved in anti-violence organizations and programs.

Engaged to be married at the time, when he and a friend were leaving another friend’s house, he was shot by a robber.

Criminologists suggest Chicago is facing one of its worst homicide rates in years. The insurgence is intractable and special interest groups are pointing fingers: citizens blame gangs, who blame police.

According to the the Huffington Post, filmmaker Robert Greenwald suggests the root cause is the NRA. In his documentary, Making a Killing: Guns, Greed, and the NRA, he explores how the lucrative gun industry and the powerful gun lobby put profit over people by scuttling legislative efforts to address even the most common-sense gun law reforms.

“There’s a profit motive here,” Greenwald said. “Many of these parents are paying a terrible price for it.”

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