RALEIGH, N.C. — When Sharon Robinson is able to be out in her community garden, she is able to connect with nature.
It's a moment of peace, even if it's only fleeting.
"The earth is wonderful. And being able to touch the dirt, you know, breathe the air, embrace the trees, knowing this is where our breath comes from, is a sense of peace," Robinson said.
Peace is something she's searched for since October 2021. That's when her life was shattered, turned upside down.
“My 32-year-old son, a truck driver, father of three, he stopped by a convenience store gas station. And while standing in line, a young person, unauthorized, underage with a gun came in the store attempting to rob, and result, Christin was shot," Robinson said. "The morning that I received the devastating call was the day that trauma entered my life, for the rest of my life, because it didn't have to happen.”
Robinson says her son was charming, charismatic and had a humble heart.
"He was such a giver. Oh, he would give, give you anything. His children were his life, and his mother was his life,” Robinson said.
Now she's one of the many North Carolinians and Americans grappling with the devastating impacts of gun violence.
Even though her son was killed in Georgia, a recently vetoed piece of legislation here in North Carolina concerns her.
The legislation covers several changes to gun laws, including removing sheriffs from the pistol-permitting process.
Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the legislation, but the General Assembly still has the chance to attempt to override that veto.
Robinson's son was a gun owner, and she said he did everything safely.
But she doesn't think the state should take away the steps that could prevent people who shouldn't have firearms from getting them more easily.
“Those extra steps to me are steps where we're being proactive, not reactive, because too often we're reacting after the fact,” Robinson said.
She never wants anyone to feel the pain she does, but she says she knows that anyone can be a victim at any time.
It's why she says she will speak out about her son, and keep trying to keep other families safe from gun violence.
"The hurt of a loved one being taken, I don't use the word lost, because my son Christin can't be found. He's gone. He was taken senselessly. That's a hurt that I'm going to endure the rest of my life. And I don't want to see no one else endure this kind of pain,” she said.