Former School Shooter writes a Letter from Prison to Reduce Gun Violence

Normally, people would think prisoners will never be the same again even if they were to be let free after years of imprisonment. Well, it is absolutely true because being captured and put away from society and family can do things mentally that cannot be fixed or shaken easily, even if one wanted to. 14 years ago a 16-year-old high school student named Jon Romano was captured as the accused in the mass shooting of Columbia High School in New York using a pump-action shotgun on February 9, 2004.

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Fortunately, there were no fatalities in the shooting as the principle of the school tackled the shooter after two rounds of firing.

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When all the chaos was over Romano was found guilty and after 14 years of imprisonment, he is making a plea for reducing gun violence. He believes he is a changed man now and wants to make a difference or at least try to fix things even though he can’t change his past.

Romano wrote Times Union Executive Editor Rex Smith a hand-written letter saying.

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“I know whenever another horrible shooting happens, he and all of my victims are hurt all over again from what I did to them. I want to take away their pain but knowing that I cannot, I want to prevent others from experiencing this pain.”

Romano also praised the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas for standing up against gun laws in the country by aiming at politicians responsible for it.

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“I believe the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland are courageous and inspiring for demanding action from politicians. Everyone nationwide should accept nothing less than meaningful, life-saving policy changes from their politicians. Only then could this generation be the last generation that lives in a nation plagued by gun violence.”

Romano’s parole is in March 2021 and even though there is still 4 long years ahead of his freedom, he has already decided on what he would be focussing on his release.

“I have taken the steps toward this that I can do from prison, and I intend to advocate for gun safety and mental health reform after my release in 2021.”

Here’s the full letter that he wrote:

“Feb. 24, 2018

Dear Mr. Rex Smith, Vice President and Editor,

I wanted to respond to the column written by Mr. Chris Churchill on Feb. 21st. First, John Sawchuk is a hero who I owe my life to. I know that every time another horrible shooting happens, he and all of my victims are hurt all over again by what I did to them. I want to take away their pain, but knowing I cannot, I want to prevent others from experiencing this pain. I have taken the steps toward this that I can do from prison, and I intend to advocate for gun safety and mental health reform after my release in 2021.

Also, I believe the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL are courageous and inspiring for speaking out and demanding action from politicians. Everyone nationwide should follow and accept nothing less than meaningful, life-saving policy changes from their representatives. Only then could this generation be the last generation that lives in a nation plagued by gun violence.

Jon Romano

Coxsackie Correctional Facility

Coxsackie, NY”

After the news about his letter spread on the internet, people on Twitter praised his enthusiasm and hopeful nature.

One of the students from Romano’s shooting also tweeted.

And some were not ready to accept his voice for justice.

There is always two sides of the story and this letter might make a change perspective.

(h/t: ScaryMommy)
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