In 1987, Lynnette Anderson’s mother left her father, Charles, after 19 years of marriage. They had a history of domestic violence altercations driven in-part by Charles’ own mental health struggles. Charles was desperate for his estranged wife to return, and convinced her to visit one day. During the visit, he brandished a gun. The gun discharged suddenly and unintentionally, striking Lynnette’s mother in the upper thigh as she sat in disbelief, saying “you shot me?!”
Charles, distraught by his blunder, turned the gun on himself and pulled the trigger. He died the next day in the hospital. He made an impulsive, fatal choice in a moment of crisis. His depression and abuse had gone unaddressed for years. If the family had a tool available to temporarily remove Charles’ gun while he sought help, maybe Lynnette’s mother wouldn’t have gotten shot, her dad would still be here, and Lynnette and her brothers wouldn’t still be affected by the trauma today.
This is Lynnette’s story.