Suzanne Glimstad

A mother’s plea: Gun violence is unacceptable

Published: Sunday, Jun. 8, 2014 - 12:00 am

My son, Derek Glimstad, was murdered on Sept. 8, 2001.

He was working part time at the Sacramento Marina while going to Cosumnes College. He was 19, and got up every day looking forward to the joys of living. He gave to homeless people, helped friends fix computer problems, and loved people and life more than anyone I have ever known. He talked of the children he would have and how they would eat together at the table. I could tell you of all of his hopes and dreams, but it would take way too long.

What we live with now is unacceptable.

Someone you love could be gone from your life because of our lax gun laws. The father of one of the latest shooting victims thinks he and the shooter’s father can make life safer, that they can come up with a plan to effect change. I wish they could find the magic power to fight the control that gun manufacturers have over our lawmakers and our lives, more importantly the lives of our children. They are in for the fight of their lives. After 26 children and educators were mowed down at Newtown, articulate parents could not find a way to make changes.

My son did not know his killer. I imagine over and over what my poor son went through. As the murderer approached in a stolen Burns security vehicle, there was no reason to think the beautiful evening would be shattered by automatic weapon fire.

A young man with a weapon was on a mission to murder Burns security people who he felt had wronged him in some way. He started shooting the Burns security man my son was talking to. When my son said stop, the gunman turned the gun on my son and riddled him with bullets. He later said Derek died because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. That’s how casually so many of our children fall.

Since Derek’s death, I have met many parents who have lost children in senseless shootings, most often by someone they did not know. We meet with lawmakers and find a few with enough conviction and principle to take a stand on legislation to make guns safer. So few speak out. They know the obstacle they will face in future elections.

Guns do own us right now. Columns such as the one by Jack Ohman help bring awareness of the frightening times we and our loved ones live in. (“Do we own guns or do they own us?” Jack Ohman, June 1). Those who suffer daily with our losses thank you.


Suzanne Glimstad is a grandmother who lives in Elk Grove.

Read more articles by Suzanne Glimstad



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