Cacy Roberts

My son and I are victims of gun violence. On December 21, 2020, we were lying in bed, and someone shot up our home. From the street they shot about 11 bullets from a high-powered rifle through my upstairs, downstairs and car. One of the bullets pierced my five-year-old son’s head, exited the other side and then hit me in the back of the upper right arm, where it remains. My youngest son, age three, watched the whole thing.

My five-year-old lost his eyesight, and he will have the remains of his eyes completely removed. Luckily he didn’t suffer any brain damage. He did have to have brain surgery to repair the fracture in his frontal skull. He also lost his sense of smell and taste since those are located in the area that was damaged. He’s now learning to cope with life without vision; he’s learning Braille and how to navigate with his cane. He’s handing the ordeal very well, considering.

Michele

It’s funny, but I really didn’t think of myself as being a gun violence survivor until recently. I’ll tell you my story and let you decide what you think.

I was living in New Orleans; I was about 23. It wasn’t very late; it was only about a quarter after 10. I was coming home from seeing a movie near Tulane University, walking down this seemingly safe street in the Garden District, past a mansion, when a man stepped out of the bushes, grabbed my wrist with one hand, pointed a gun at my head with the other and said, “Don’t scream or I’ll kill you!” He tried to pull me into the bushes, I assumed to rape me. I tried to continue on my way, pulling him in the opposite direction. I said “Hey, you just go your own way; I’ll go my way. Leave me alone.” He said again, “Don’t scream or I’ll kill you! I said, “I don’t care! Leave me alone!” He said, “You don’t care—are you crazy?” He then hit me in the side of the neck with the butt of the gun, not hard enough to knock me out, but hard enough to make me see stars. That infuriated me. I leaned in close to his face, and screamed as loudly as I could. He dropped my wrist and ran away.

In retrospect, this scenario could have gone entirely south; he could have easily shot me. I was lucky. But even though he didn’t fire the gun, that was still gun violence.