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

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When I was 6 years old, I lived on a military base. On Armed Forces Day, the kids on the base went together to climb on the planes, tanks, etc. A 17-year-old older brother of one of the kids picked us up to take us back home. There was a rifle in the back seat. We climbed into the car, and I was up against the door. One of the kids, an 8-year-old boy, picked up the gun and pointed it at me across the back seat. He said “Put your hands up, or I’ll shoot!”

I was a timid little girl, so I shrugged my shoulders. The gun went off, and the bullet went in and out of my shoulder into my jaw. I still have a scar in my jaw. I was lucky that it hit my shoulder and not my temple. If it had, I wouldn’t be alive to share this story. When my tough Marine dad arrived at the ER, he passed out cold upon seeing me. I don’t remember much after that. Safe storage could have prevented this!

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.