When Dorothy Paugh was 9, her father bought a pistol and started talking openly about ending his life. Her mother was terrified but didn’t know what to do.

“She called our priest and called his best friend,” Paugh recalled. “They came and talked to him, and they didn’t ask to take his gun away.”

Her father was 51 when he shot himself to death.

“One morning — it was a hot August day — he said, ‘Take the kids to the pool.’ There were five of us, and she piled us in the station wagon. We had a great time until they announced over the loudspeaker that the police were there to take us to the hospital,” Paugh said.

Six years ago, in 2012, it happened again. Paugh’s son Peter bought a pistol, walked to a nearby park and shot himself. He was 25.

“It was so shattering, so catastrophic,” Paugh said. “He made a 911 call to the police because he said he didn’t want any children playing in the woods to come upon the gun and his body.”

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One Child Is Too Many

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