Westmoreland New Hampshire, Bill and Elizabeth Van Brooklyn discussed on AFTERMATH
She never liked her stepfather. He drank and swore in hit. Sometimes he would threaten to kill her though. She didn't take the threat seriously. She was thirteen instill invincible, but then he climbed into her bed one night and he was completely naked and he had a knife and I took the knife and I just, I think some people have a spirit of resilience that will get them through, and it must have always had that because I took the knife in ice, I, I went to stab him in the hand just to get them away from me. And it went into his hand just a little bit. And he was really shocked by that, and my brother came out, you know, must staring at him and he just went, why never thought your sister would do that. He was banned jeans. She forced him out of a room that night. But something insiders said that maybe she should take his threats more seriously from now on three days later, he shot her clay Lascher summers was still bleeding on her bedroom floor. When police arrived, her mother was crying at her feet, her stepfather, the man who had just minutes earlier fired thirty odd, six high-calibre hunting rifle at her. Back was sitting calmly at the kitchen table. He was drinking tea from the team that brought you accused in collaboration with the trace. This is aftermath a podcast about gunshot survivors. I'm amber hunt. Thursday line that I as in American crime reporter have come across a lot in news releases. The injuries were not considered life-threatening after twenty years reporting about violent crime. I have come to hate those words. There are too simplistic to dismissive yet a life didn't end, but there's a decent chance at changed forever is in that newsworthy to in nineteen seventy clay lash summer, survived the gunshot, her stepfather blasted into her back. But that gunshot changed the trajectory of her life. She's sixty one years old now and she carries scars that go far beyond the physical. She suffers from and post traumatic stress disorder. She's dealt with the Prussian and severe trust issues. She's had to excise unhealthy people from our life. The mother who didn't protect her, the brother who tried, but. Developed a drug problem later in life that gunshot changed, everything. So this is the survivor garden, and every survivor that comes here has worked on it. It's winner in Westmoreland New Hampshire which is to say it's cold and a bit gray, but still beautiful. This is a quaint corner of the country where rolling green hills or specked with rustic bonds. It was lips here with Bill her partner, and we could live together a few years now, but their lives are more entwined than that suggests in one thousand nine hundred seventy. The two were neighbors right near the farm. They shared today clay would run and get muddy with Bill and his siblings, especially as sister Judy, who was clay's best friend, even the all the years that I was way there would be times where you know you flash back to memories in your childhood that were like magical, magical. And I know being on this leeann when I was small, was magical for me, and I always. Saw Bill, like sort of running in the field, like in my memories, which I don't ever think you did run in the field? I don't. I don't know if he ever ran the field. I've flown here to New Hampshire to talk to Klay about the shooting and how it affected the rest of her life. She's the first person I'm interviewing for this project for which I'm traveling the country and talking to people who have survived gunshot wounds in America. I'm not alone for this project. I've partnered with the trace a nonprofit newsroom that focuses on gun violence, Elizabeth van Brooklyn, a trace reporter, and I have spent nearly a year working on this project together. So why are we doing this? I could rattle off statistics about how more than eighty thousand people are injured by gunfire every year in America, and I could try to contextualized that by saying that number represents the entire population of say, Troy, Michigan or Gary Indiana or Longview Texas. But the truth is that I don't think most people care about statistics. I think there is gloss over when they hear them, nor is my point to weigh in politically. The debate over gun laws has coincidentally come to the foreground in recent months as we've been working on this project, but it wasn't the driving force here. The people we've interviewed have opinions to be sure, and some of them will include when it's relevant. But if you're looking for nuance debate about politics, this isn't the place. Instead I want to tell the stories of survivors. I want to help people understand what issues they face and how their lives changed the moment they were shot. Yes, they survived, but that's not the whole story. There's also the aftermath. So I'm in New Hampshire with Elizabeth, and there's also a local photographer here with us in clay's beautiful home. Oh, hi, John. So glad you're back.