Nothing prepared me for the weekend I told my kids I was going to run for the House of Delegates. At first, they were thrilled at the idea that their mom might be on TV. We would be famous!
But late that night after everyone had gone to bed, my youngest daughter crept into my room and asked very quietly, "mom, will you be safe?"
You see, we've talked to our kids about gun violence -- about the active shooter drills they practice regularly in school, about mass shootings in the news, and about Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, my second cousin, who was shot in the head because someone didn't like her politics.
My 8-year old daughter had been laying awake in bed, worrying that her mom was going to be targeted just like Gabby.
It was a gut punch, and it made me realize just how much gun violence affects not just the immediate victims, but also their families, our communities and our nation as a whole.
I don't pretend to have all the answers, but I do know that we must do something to curb the epidemic of gun violence. With the recent events in Virginia Beach, I'm reminded again that we cannot afford to wait.
If you believe that we need candidates who are unafraid to talk about gun safety, and who are willing to have an honest conversation about balancing public safety with individual rights, please consider making a contribution of $10, $20, $50 or $100 to support my campaign.
Hug your kids tight tonight, and tell them that we have good people fighting to keep them safe. And let's not rest until we've made real progress on this important issue.