My father shot and killed himself with his hunting rifle at our home when I was 17. My mom, sister and I had spent the night at my older sister’s so that we could go shopping early that Saturday morning. My Dad stopped by and seemed to be in a good mood the night before.
Saturday, June 21, 1975, was the worst day of my life and my family’s, and we are all still carrying the scars of that fatal day. My father had struggled with depression most of his life, having a “nervous breakdown” right after I was born. He was institutionally committed for three weeks and received shock treatments while he was there. My mom said that he was never the same after that. Mental illness and guns do not have good outcomes. Having that hunting rifle in our home proved to be fatal for my 58-year-old father and altered my family’s life forever.