Allow me an observation about people rarely mentioned in debates over gun violence. Some years ago, when I was living in Cleveland, I was shot point blank and left for dead on the sidewalk near my house in a gang-related drive-by. The shooter, who was later apprehended, later that same night shot a 15-year-old girl in the head and a teenage boy in the chest, all with a handgun he obtained with ease.
Miraculously, we all survived, but to this day I’m still dealing with the physical and psychological effects of that near-death experience. I share this not to gain sympathy but to highlight that gun violence wreaks far more damage than just the horrific body count of those who are killed. Most survivors endure years — if not lifetimes — of pain, sorrow and mental anguish, and in calculating the toll of gun violence in this country, we must also recognize that those who survive a shooting are victims, as well.