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Going door-to-door, parents of girl killed by celebratory gunfire hope to raise awareness

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Five years after a metro girl was killed by celebratory gunfire, her parents are working with police to make sure other families don't suffer the same grief.

Blair Shanahan Lane`s family and police officers are telling anyone who will listen about the 11-year-old girl.

They say it's difficult on the Fourth of July to distinguish gunfire from fireworks, but police say their shot spotter equipment knows the difference.

Gunshots are shorter and sharper than fireworks - gunfire is the sound Blair`s parents and police are talking about.

With each door knock, they are asking people to call 911 this weekend if they hear loud bangs and don't know what the sounds are.

Five years ago, Blair was dancing with her cousins during a party. A stray bullet struck Blair in the neck and killed her; the bullet was shot from a distance more than three football fields away.

Thursday’s canvassing effort is a labor of love for Blair`s parents who hand out a picture of her at every home, hoping that her image will touch the hearts of those who are all too used to the sound of gunshots.

“You can think up something or see something that is not right and work towards making that better for people, for yourself, for your family, for your community and really that`s what I stand behind is making it better for other people,” Michele Shanaha-DeMoss.

Another way Blair`s parents are trying to make things better for others is by asking the legislature on both sides of the state line to enact Blair`s law - making discharging a firearm a felony.

Aaron Sullivan, the man who killed Blair, was convicted of a misdemeanor and spent just 18 months in jail.