September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.  Read and share stories to honor survivors whose loved ones died by gun suicide.

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Christina Down-Robinson

In memory of Scott Down

June 1, 1993, is the date my world stopped turning and I took on the unwanted title of homicide survivor. This is the date my Irish twin brother, Scott, was shot and killed during an attempted armed robbery.

Scott and I were a team. We shared a car and got each other to and from school and several part-time jobs. We were study partners — always pushing each other to succeed — and he was my very first friend. He had a quick wit and an incredible sense of humor, a deliberate and infectious enthusiasm for life, and at 19 years old, a promising future.

The one bullet (from a handgun that was unlicensed, unregistered and remains unaccounted for) that killed my brother left an enormous hole in me and everyone that knew and loved Scott. He has been missed every minute of every day for over 26 years.

Ironically, February 4 is Scott’s birthday, and for the next two weeks we should be teasing each other as we’d once again, albeit temporarily, be the same age. Instead, I’m writing about his birthday as the #MomentsThatSurvive, during National Gun Violence Survivors Week, to share how gun violence has changed my life.

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