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Traverse City's "Gun Safe Mom"

Missy Smith and her daughters, pictured with a photo of her brother who was shot and killed at age 12. Photo: Smith family.

With every school shooting, Missy Smith is reminded of the tragedy her own family once suffered at the hands of a child with a gun. Her 12-year-old brother was shot and killed decades ago while visiting the home of a classmate.

Years later, as a new mom in Traverse City, Smith was uncomfortable sending her children to play in homes where guns were left unlocked. But there was an irony; Smith had married into a hunting family and there were unlocked firearms in her own home. She left gun safety to her husband at first.

Now she wants mothers to take an active role, and to talk together about the issue of gun safety at home every time there’s a play date. She’s launching a new campaign called “Gun Safe Mom.”