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It is difficult to tell a story of avoidable gun violence in just 200 words. But I’ll try. One crystal clear morning in August 2019, I raised the window blinds of my large, picture windows and enjoyed looking out over Utah Lake and the mountains around the valley. A protective order was to be issued that morning to a man I had dated briefly. I ended the relationship when I saw clear signs of instability and potential violence. He was a “law-abiding citizen” from Wisconsin who also had guns in his possession.

My phone rang. It was a police officer, just calling to make sure I was all right. While I was speaking with him, I heard the latch to my front gate open. I went to the window and saw the man whom I had been dreading. Thankfully, my window blinds were open. It could have been much worse if they hadn’t been.

When he saw my face at the window, he looked at me with a strange smile, put a long-range pistol to his head and pulled the trigger. I heard someone screaming as I hit the ground, pressing my face and body into the carpet. It was me.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.