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Dr. Julie Connor, Ed.D.

Dr. Julie Connor, Inc.

When I was six years old, my father carried his shotgun into the backyard and fired shots into the air when he was angry.

I asked my mother, “What is Dad shooting at?”

“Never mind,” she answered.

When I was in high school, I climbed into the top of a closet and accidentally grabbed the trigger of my father’s shotgun. The gun exploded. I was punished for loading and cocking the gun. I don’t know how to load or cock a gun. The incident was never discussed again.

When I was a freshman in college, a 10-year-old fired shots out of a living room window. I entered his line of fire and was shot in the leg. My parents said, “It was only your leg. You didn’t die.”

Years later, gunfire erupted in a school where I taught in Kansas City. After the lock-down was lifted, no one talked about it.

At a Christian youth conference, a teen delivered a presentation about his efforts to support gun legislation. Parents shouted obscenities at the boy and accused him of “taking away their guns.”

Silence is deadly. It’s time to talk about responsible gun legislation. Conversations can heal the world.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.