From the Pagosa (Colorado) Sun, a letter to the editor printed in its entirety.
There is much speculation and rumor surrounding the events of April 25. I want this community to know the truth.
That evening while my husband, Gary Draper, was preparing me a beautiful lasagna dinner, I began to dose myself with rum after a rough day at the office. I don’t hold liquor well and quickly became unruly. Gary made some remark like, “It’s your turn to wash the dishes.” I took a stack of dishes and broke them.
Knowing I was out of control, I left for a couple of hours to sober up.
When I got home around ten, the house was dark. I was still not myself and took more dishes and crashed them to the floor which startled Gary from a deep, alcohol-induced sleep. I heard him get up off the couch and go into the bedroom. Neither of us had said a word and it was dark. The next thing I knew I had been shot and saw Gary’s horrified face and heard him say, “Jamie, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it, I love you!” I screamed, “Call 911! Tie off my arm, I’m bleeding to death!” Gary called for help and applied a tourniquet to my shoulder and I lost consciousness. I believe that Gary thought I was an intruder and according to evidence, the gun discharged accidentally.
Gary has never laid a hand on me in anger in nine years of marriage. He is not physically abusive. In the past, when I have been injured or gravely ill, it has been Gary that stayed by my side and nursed me back to health and cared for my every need.
Gary is a wonderful man. If you treat him with respect, he will give you the shirt off his back. Every year, he grows a huge garden and gives 75 percent of it away to those more in need than himself. He is always ready to lend a helping hand.
Gary has served his country, raised four wonderful children and has seven grandchildren.
I will conclude by thanking all of you who have prayed for us. God truly carried me in his arms that night and my hope of recovery is excellent.
I would also like to extend my heartfelt thanks to Doug Nelson for guiding the rescue to my home which they couldn’t find (saving precious time), to the EMTs who helped save my life, Dr. Stern who saved my right arm from amputation, and the staff at Mercy.
I lift up my heart in gratitude to God for another day of life and love.
See what happens when you mix rum, lasagna, and firearms? And I thought all along that gay marriage was the biggest threat to traditional family values.