Four years ago, my next-door neighbor shot and killed himself in his backyard. My husband and I were sitting outside, and I just saw our neighbor. We had to run to get our kids away from that side of the house. We didn’t understand what was going on — we just saw four police officers drawing weapons and then heard the gunshot. We were afraid our boys would get shot in our own home.
Suicide with a gun is gun violence, and its effects reverberate throughout our communities. I’ve experienced PTSD and had several panic attacks since this incident. Our oldest son, now 8, still asks us what happened that night. The night there was an “emergency,” and he had to get out of bed and run to our bedroom. He knows we aren’t telling him the truth, and I dread the day we have to tell him.