At age 7, I listened from the other side of my bedroom door as my father struggled to wrestle the gun away from my mother, who was determined to take her life.
At age 9, I watched my sister grieve the loss of her best friend who had been senselessly shot and killed at a local fast-food restaurant in her own car.
At age 19, I cleaned my brother’s blood off his living room floor after he was brutally shot while shielding his 3-year-old son from an armed robbery.
At age 20, I said goodbye to my family and loved ones as an armed assailant held a gun to my head in a nighttime robbery at my work.
Gun violence has threatened to take away everything I hold dear in my life for as long as I can remember. But that was then. I’ve already survived, now it’s time to thrive.