Twice, I’ve thought somebody would put a bullet in me as I stared down the barrel of their pistol

Exercising for me is a great hobby. The movement, the energy, the endorphines all help to create a swirl of thoughts which probably would not occur. I’ve stared down the barrel of a gun twice now and both times, I was convinced it was the end. Between the two experiences, I somehow prefer staring down my assailant, rather than having somebody point it at the back of my head. I guess I like the idea that I know if the end is coming, even if I won’t have any choice in the matter. Somehow, I stay optimistic but when I see television shows which talk about PTSD, I understand. It’s rough, dealing with trauma. Some memories will never fade.

Why do so many people get amped up about the gun debate?

It’s pretty simple. Most people haven’t actually had a gun pointed at their chest, their head, or been told to lay on the ground and throw down their wallet, while they wondered if the robbers would finish them, or leave them after stealing what they could. Years ago, I bought a bullet proof vest for a family member (those aren’t cheap, btw) because it was a reasonable request. Most of us, my children included, will never, ever have to deal with the trauma I’ve personally experienced. Simply because most people don’t have that kind of experience. Not because gun safety, or laws about guns in the USA, will ever improve.

Life is beautiful. Full of pain, full of promise, full of opportunity. Sometimes, I still think about that day I thought I’d be shot and killed over perhaps twenty dollars. The robbers were never caught, never convicted and the police did not give two shits about what happened. I’m over it but my story, like so many others involving gun violence, needs to be heard. It needs to be shared. As a community, we should not be okay with the idea that home invasion could result in death. Knife attacks result in far less atrocity than guns; the statistics don’t lie.

Unless you’ve been held at gunpoint, thought you were going to be killed, bought a bullet proof vest for a family member…I am not sure you are qualified to even participate in the gun debate. While I’ve had these experiences, I would give anything to ensure that you do not.