Two Months After Pulse Massacre, A Mother Still Reeling From The Loss...

Two Months After Pulse Massacre, A Mother Still Reeling From The Loss Of Her Beloved Son

Two Months After Orlando Massacre, Still Trying to Move Forward
Two Months After Orlando Massacre, Still Trying to Move Forward

It has been two months since a lone gunman opened fire on Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, killing 49 and injuring 53 others.

For Christine Leinonen, whose only son was killed that night, her life will never be the same.

sonLeinonen sat on her couch with a stack of old photographs of her son on her lap when ABC news recently visited her.

“He was one of the good ones, she said. “You would have loved him as your neighbor, as your son, as your cousin … you would have loved him because he is what we want to be.”

Leinonen’s life was forever changed when her son, 32-year-old Christopher Leinonen, was murdered at the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando in June.

Her living room is filled with belongings from his apartment — his bed frame, his TV, his bookshelf, his clothes. Leinonen says she can’t bring herself to let go of her son’s belongings.

son Orlando“This is unfortunately what you’re left with when your son suddenly gets massacred,” Leinonen said. “You bring his furniture into your space … I just really shoved everything wherever I could find a space.”

“This is all I have,” she said. “This is what he loved.”

HT_orlando_victimsOn June 12, Christopher and his boyfriend Juan Guerrero, were gunned down when a lone gunman managed to wound victims with more than 200 bullets.

“I need to know,” Leinonen said. “Even though it haunts me that he was slaughtered and his entire torso was torn up with seven to nine bullets.”

Leinonen says that 62 days after the senseless shooting, it’s just as easy to legally purchase an assault rifle in the state of Florida.

She has turned her grief into action, advocating for a ban on high-capacity assault rifles, the type of weapon that was used to kill her son.

“No one needs a high-powered weapon. No one,” she said. “So many shots, so quickly, so easily, and that he legally bought that high-powered weapon just one week before the shooting.”

“We don’t know who is going to be the next mass shooter,” Leinonen said. “All we can do is try to protect ourselves from this type of weapon so that when they do get their fuse lit, that maybe we can overcome them relatively quickly.”

Watch her full interview with Nightline below:

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  1. Does one ever stop mourning such a loss?

    It’s 1 year, 2 months and 3 days since Stannis Baratheon was killed in Game of Thrones. And I’m still mourning him. He really was the true king of the seven kingdoms.