Saturday, 22 December 2012

Let's Demand a Plan

My cousin Greg was murdered at point blank range with a gun. Just blew his face right off apparently.  It was early morning and he'd dropped a friend off at work so he could use his car.  Returned to his girlfriend's house and bad guy type drug dealers were there.  Not totally sure what was going one.  Greg had just been released from jail where he'd been living for quite some time due to drug charges.  All I know is he got home, guys were holding his girlfriend up.  Greg tried to talk them down, and they shot him at point blank range and then continued to torment his girlfriend.  If I understand the story right, all of the folks involved, except for Greg's girlfriend are dead.  There were some police chases and all sorts of nutsoness to get the bad guys who'd killed my cousin.  My mom claims they were part of a mexican drug thing.  Who knows ... I guess now, it doesn't matter.  

Sydney, my aunt and mentor, wrapped herself in shower curtains, laid in the bathtub -- she didn't want to leave a big mess -- and pulled the trigger to a handgun.  Blew her brains all over.

We had a deal.  If she ever felt like trying to kill herself again, she was supposed to call me.  I'd just graduated with my clinical MSW and studied suicide.  I knew what to do and we followed all the safety things.  Her husband wasn't a big help.  My friend Mandy and Julie were moving back out west and I was going to tag along as a fellow adventurer and we were going to go see her on the way out.

nstead, we left a couple days early because she had killed herself.  By the time I go to her house, it was all cleaned up.  Just a hole in the cast iron bathtub.  I fell by the side of it and just cried the angriest tears of my life.

I'm still mad at my uncle for insisting that his right to own those weapons superseded my aunt's safety.  I don't know how to forgive him for being so selfish.  He knew she was suicidal, and would not give them up.  She took that to mean he wanted her dead.  I think he did.  He was having an affair and didn't want to deal with her, plus he'd get a big life insurance thing if she did it.  Can you prosecute that? 

If people suffering with a mental illness were able to get the help they need and we had realistic rules around weapons -- the kind that PROMOTE  safety and life, I think both of my family members would be alive. I'd love for them to come back and share their feelings about guns and the rules we should live by. Since that didn't happen, even on 12/21/12, I guess its time I do.

I'm going to make one of these videos and post it.  I want it to be cool so I'm going to enlist some friends to help, maybe they will make videos too.

I want the holidays to be a safe time. I want my constitutional right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to be protected.  I want my aunt and my cousin back.  I don't want anyone else I love to die a violent death.  

The horrific school shooting in Newtown, CT is the latest devastating example of the toll of gun violence. It's time for our leaders to take action.
Every day, 34 people are murdered with guns in this country. The "I Demand A Plan" video project records the personal stories of Americans whose lives were forever changed by these tragedies.
Watch and share their videos, add your own and Demand A Plan!

from a nurse at U of A

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