Tenn. shooting survivor touts gun rights, control - WKRN News 2

Tenn. shooting survivor touts gun rights, control


A Clarksville woman is still battling the effects of a shooting that left her partially paralyzed and suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.
Barry Roberts shot and wounded Shirley Brown in November 2006 at her office on North Hill Drive in east Nashville.

Roberts came to the business to confront another co-worker of Brown's about an extra-marital affair the co-worker was allegedly having with Robert's wife.

Brown was signing for a UPS package when Roberts opened fire in the parking lot.

He shot the male co-worker in the shoulder.

Brown was shot in the back.

"I can remember the smoke coming from the gun," she said. "I can hear the popping sound from the gun and I can still smell the smoke."

Roberts then turned the gun on himself in the parking lot.

"The bullet lodged in my spine and I still have six fragments of that bullet in my spine," Brown said.  "I am very lucky to be sitting here talking. The next person might not be so lucky."

Doctors told Brown that because of her injuries she may never walk again.

Brown is able to walk with the help of a walker. She is partially paralyzed in her right foot and suffers from Peripheral neuropathy.

Peripheral neuropathy is damage to nerves that causes her to have a painful burning sensation in some of her extremities.

The recent mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado; Portland, Oregon and Newtown Connecticut moved Brown to speak publicly about the need to protect the public from dangerous people who with weapons.

"I am not against guns at all, if it is legally purchased," she said. "I do think we need to make tougher laws on these people who are selling them illegally."

She supports a universal background check proposal by President Obama that would close what some call a loop hole in gun purchases.

Currently the law requires background checks for purchases made from licensed gun dealers.

But, gun sales from private dealers do not require a background check. The Obama administration estimated as many as 40% of gun sales are done without a background check.

The National Rifle Association said the president's proposals do not do enough to protect children in schools and deal with mental health issues that lead to certain types of gun violence.

The organization has also said the president's measures will only hamper law abiding citizens' ability to purchase and possess weapons.

Brown said she stays positive about her condition following the shooting by finding a purpose for her survival.

"I know God did this for a reason," she said. "There is a reason for everything I am figuring out what it is now."

President Obama is also calling for a ban on military style assault rifles and a 10-round limit for magazines.

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