Mother of slain girl: 'Guns are not toys' - KCTV5

Mother of slain girl: 'Guns are not toys'

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Michelle Shanahan-DeMoss has been campaigning for stricter gun laws since her daughter was killed by a stray celebratory bullet on the Fourth of July two years ago. Michelle Shanahan-DeMoss has been campaigning for stricter gun laws since her daughter was killed by a stray celebratory bullet on the Fourth of July two years ago.
Blair Shanahan Lane's life was cut tragically short when she was struck and killed by a stray bullet on the Fourth of July. Blair Shanahan Lane's life was cut tragically short when she was struck and killed by a stray bullet on the Fourth of July.
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

For some it's a holiday tradition to celebrate the new year by firing shots into the air. But for others it can have devastating consequences, and police say the problem has only gotten worse.

One area mother is asking people to leave the guns locked up this New Year's Eve.

"Guns are not toys. They are to be used in the proper manner by people that are educated and licensed," said Michelle Shanahan-DeMoss.

DeMoss knows all too well how needless holiday gun fire can destroy lives.

"A life was taken by a careless act and, whether you are participating in that careless act or not, you have the opportunity to make a difference," she said.

DeMoss' daughter, 11-year-old Blair, was struck and killed by Fourth of July celebration gunfire two years ago. Since then her family has fought to get changes made to the law and to convince people to not fire guns into the air to celebrate holidays.

"She'd be turning 14 and she should be starting high school," the mother said of her daughter. "We just don't want lives to be taken. There are gun laws and classes in place for a reason."

It's a problem that's gotten especially bad for people living in the in the Argentine area. They say every year on this night, people are outside celebrating with guns.

"I hear the gunfire every year," Maria Pena said. "[It worries me] because you don't know where the bullets are coming from and I don't want my kids to die."

"A shot went inside my neighbor's house and it just scared her," said Crystal Martinez.

DeMoss hopes all her campaigning will make a change and hopefully stop any future tragedies from happening.

"Maybe tonight someone will make a decision that is a positive decision - celebrate with something other than guns," she said.

DeMoss says her daughter was an organ donor. Go to blairsfostersocks.org to learn more about Blair's story.

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