When I was 21, my cousin and I were coming home from her friend’s birthday party. A gang of girls were fighting in the middle of the side street my cousin lived on. One had a gun (she was probably 18) and fired into the gang of girls. They returned fire. I ducked in my car. Three bullets hit our car, one of which struck my cousin. My cousin survived physically but not mentally. She was grazed in the head. Now she’s afraid of every loud pop, and she can’t do crowds unless she’s with me. I’m also affected by this because we both could have died, and I am absolutely horrified by loud popping sounds. We have both gone to counseling, and our support system is amazing, but every day is still a struggle. My cousin and our friends certainly keep us strong. So does our group Moms Demand Action.