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Katrina Brees and her mother have worked together for more than a decade. The two had worked, and the former has credited all her love of art to her talented and whimsical mother. They have produced parades together in New Orleans. Her fond memories of her mother resemble “just her dancing in a parade, just her feeling the music, feeling the audience, giving love.” In a letter to the psychiatrist in 2018, she seemed so carefree yet a tormented soul struggling with bipolar disorder. She wrote, “Dear Doctor, It has been nine months since this episode began. I am not doing well. How long must I endure this?” On June 26, 2018, she bought a gun and shot herself fatally underneath the Tree of life, the New Orleans landmark Brees regarded as “It was the most special spot she could choose.” She added, “It’s where many of our friends have had weddings. We’ve had funerals there. The space is so sacred. It feels like she laid herself on the cathedral of our community and died there.”
Brees’ mother didn’t like guns.
Brees said, “She didn’t like guns. She was scared of guns. There were no guns in our family. It was so unlike her.” Professor Mike Anestis, heading the New Jersey Gun Violence Research Center at the Rutgers School of Public Health, said many people survive suicide attempts using other methods. “Intentional overdose? Only 2% to 3% of the folks who attempt suicide using an overdose died. Almost 95% of folks who use a firearm do. They don’t get a second chance.” It said, “More than half of all suicide deaths in any given year are caused by self-inflicted gunshot wounds. So, that’s somewhere in the vicinity of 25,000 firearm suicide deaths in the U.S. every single year.”
Attempting to stop suicides: Donna’s law
Bars are trying to raise awareness by pushing for new gun legislation. He says there is an absolute correlation between fewer suicides and stricter gun laws. He is even working with Katrina Brees in the process of Donna’s law, named after her mother. Vars said, “An individual would have the opportunity to suspend their ability to buy a gun, voluntarily, confidentially put their name into the already-existing background check system.” He added, “And if they attempted to buy a gun, that transaction would be denied.” Brees said that even the success of stopping at least one suicide would mark Donna’s law to be worth it!