Leesa Ross is a mother of three who lost her oldest son Jon to a handgun accident. In her forthcoming memoir At Close Range she tells the story about how Jon’s college-age accident in a campus town changed the rest of her life. After his death she took action, creating education about how we must make our gun ownership safer. Her memoir outlines the way forward for gun safety, using the language and practices of the New Talk to educate young adults. The Talk gives advice as essential as any lessons about drinking and driving, responsible sex habits and suicide awareness we share with our children.
Leesa also is a board member of Texas Gun Sense, an apolitical organization devoted to gun safety for Texans of all ages. She’s been trained as a Lead Survivor in the Be SMART gun safety program, giving speeches to organizations from schools to rallies to Texas legislative committees.
Leesa has appeared in numerous media outlets, including the Austin Fox affiliate, KLBJ’s Come and Talk It program focused on gun owners, and the newspaper of the state capital, the Austin American Statesman.
Leesa has founded Be Smarter for College, a college-focused safety program that has the support of Texas police leaders in Austin and the University of Texas Campus. The safety initiative is developing an orientation module including Lock Arms for Life, a campaign that’s been a part of UT’s SafeHorns program. Lock Arms for Life gives college students rules and training to promote safe gun ownership and securing weapons as a part of safer campus life — for owners as well as all community members.
To ensure she stays in touch with gun owners, she’s a member of the NRA and a gun owner herself. Leesa supports Second Amendment rights as a part of safe ownership goals.
A Texas resident for nearly 40 years, Leesa lives in Austin with her husband Randy, her two sons Lance and Keaton, and a devoted retriever Lucy who’s been by her side all through her journey.