'I still have several bullets in me': Chesterfield woman shares story for gun violence awareness

'I still have several bullets in me': Chesterfield woman shares story for gun violence awareness
Lisette Johnson’s husband shot her several times before shooting and killing himself in front of their children. (Source: NBC12)

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A national movement to raise awareness about gun violence made its way to Richmond Saturday.

During an event at MLK Middle School for National Gun Violence Awareness Day, Lisette Johnson shared a story that's tormented her family for the last 8 years.

"I still have several bullets in me," said Lisette Johnson, domestic gun violence survivor

Johnson's husband shot her several times before shooting and killing himself in front of their children - It's why she wore orange for National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

The NRA is trying to change the narrative, encouraging its supporters to wear orange. And the president of a pro-gun rights group in Virginia, did just that.

"We're wearing orange, because we think we have a better solution to the problem of violence," said Philip Van Cleave, Virginia Citizens Defense League. "And that is to loosen our gun laws so that law abiding citizens can carry anywhere they go."

But that's not the argument the other side is making. In fact, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500 percent.

Citing gun shows in Virginia that don't require background checks before purchasing any amount of guns, Johnson and the others want universal background checks. She says her husband legally bought the gun he used to shoot her."

"That would've never happened if a gun hadn't been present," said Lissette.

Van Cleave countered that argument.

"If she'd been armed, her husband probably wouldn't have a chance to do what he did."

It's the same back-and-forth argument the nation has heard for years with very little action - in either direction - from elected officials. And as Johnson points out, people are still being shot and killed, including in Richmond-area neighborhoods.

"These aren't isolated," said Johnson. "I lived in Midlothian, these aren't isolated incidents that are just in certain neighborhoods that don't affect you. This thought that 'I'm safe because it's not in my neighborhood,' well it is in your backyard."

On Friday, the Governor's mansion and several other state buildings lit up orange to support gun violence awareness.

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