My name is Courtney Love. Six years ago on April 7th, my husband, Kurt Cobain, shot himself to death.
Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary emotion. If you have ever lived with anybody with depression, you know how they suffer. But you should also know that there is help. Depression is treatable. So it is one of the greatest tragedies on earth that of the thirty-two thousand gun deaths every year in America, seventeen thousand are those who killed themselves. Over twelve hundred kids - three children a day - die from self-inflicted gun wounds. Three children will shoot themselves in this country before the sun goes down. In a moment of desperation and chaos, life is ended because the gun was handy and near, and probably unregistered.
There are those who say, “Oh, please have a gun for protection,” but I know better. Suicide is five times more likely in a house with a gun, than in a house without one. Ask any mother who finds her child’s body in the bedroom, or who hears a shot in the basement, and rushes down to see her daughter lying on the floor, if guns are really good protection. Ask a child like my little girl, Frances, who will never have her father hold her hand as she walks to school, or teach her to play guitar. Ask her if it’s good protection.
I tried to explain to my child that her father is dead, and that hundreds of other children’s fathers are dead because we have no way of protecting people from their darkest moments. Because we have nihilistic, barbaric gun laws in this country.
And that’s why I am here. If we register guns, if we license gun owners, if we check for criminal records and for mental illness, then we will make it harder for people to buy guns, and then we will save countless lives.
I know if Kurt could see his daughter today, he’d be so glad that he was alive. He’d be so glad to be here walking in the Lincoln Memorial, or buying her an ice cream. I miss my friend. My daughter misses her father.
Thousands and thousands of children thought that his choice was an option for them. An option made so easy. He was a really great boy and a beautiful songwriter. But he also became a symbol for a tragic death — a tragic means of death by gunshot wounds that he would never, ever have wanted to be. Here is how he died: An acquaintance of my husband with a long criminal record, and a record of mental illness, walked into a pawnshop. It took him about five minutes to purchase a shotgun. He handed it to Kurt on April 6th, and on April 7th he was found dead. That’s how easy it is.