I had a feeling that the news wouldn’t be good when I saw a favorite cousin’s name on our caller ID. It wasn’t close to a holiday, and there were no showers or birthday parties coming up, so I returned the call upstairs, where it was quiet. All I remember after dialing was rocking on the floor, listening to someone I love say “shot…spinal cord… robbery…palliative care…quadriplegic…search for the shooter…”
Over the next weeks, I realized that when I used to hear that someone survived a shooting, I’d respond with a prayer of thanksgiving and think they were fine. The reality is that for every bullet wound, there are usually dozens of people traumatized, often multiple surgeries and sometimes a lifetime of medical care. I still say prayers of thanksgiving. But now I work to prevent shootings, including supporting common-sense legislation and education on safe storage.