“I would never get to talk to him, never get to hold him, never get to say I love you again. And I went numb for three years.” -Michelle

beyond the bullet

Beyond the Bullet: Personal Stories of Gun Violence Aftermath


Before the sharp blast of gunfire has died away, lives have been shattered. How do ordinary people cope with and sometimes even thrive after a loved one is killed by a firearm? Over 30,000 families must face this question every year in America.

The answer is in the voices of the survivors and victims. In a series of interviews, I ask those affected to talk about their lives from the moment their world was blown apart by the pull of a trigger. They discuss the anguish, fear, confusion, and grief caused by suicide, homicide, and unintentional shootings. From these voices, I came to recognize shared reactions and an overwhelming sense of loss. But their differences in composure, complexity, and anger at the perpetrator are as significant as their similarities. Though their lives reflect the multiplicities of America (all races, all classes, and all social statures), their responses cannot be predicted.

The circumstances of the deaths or injuries discussed in my book are varied—the teenager left paralyzed, the girlfriend who played dead with three bullets in her skull, the hunter who shot his best friend, and the ten-year-old killed by her brother holding their father’s service revolver. Though the circumstances differ, the stories reveal what the survivors hold in common—the strength of the human spirit and its ability to survive.

Proceeds from book go to Families and Friends of Violent Crime Victims - website





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