Photo illustration by Stephen Gross. 

"Where I’m from, we like guns. They are as much a part of our story as Jesus, 'Roll Tide,' and monograms. Even if you’ve never shot one, you appreciate the romance."

Sound familiar?

That paragraph was written by Tuscaloosa's Elaina Plott, a staff writer at The Atlantic magazine. She was shot when she was 21 years old and wrote about the experience of that day and the years since, "The Bullet in My Arm". It's a riveting piece about guns, gun culture, violence and the complexities of the South.

A key point: Plott is not anti-gun. At all. So don't discount her experience with being shot as another gun-control advocate not worth your time.

Plott writes:

"Getting shot did not end my life. It didn’t even upend it, really. The one time I cried, I was sitting in a tufted chair in my parents’ bedroom while the local Fox affiliate was on. 'The victim,' the anchor said, 'is still rattled but at home and doing fine, we can exclusively report.' It was disembodying, listening to this person I had never spoken with speak about me. We can exclusively report.

"Each time I replayed that night in my mind, a different image would surface. My 4-year-old sister, in the driveway when I pulled in. When I got out, she saw the deep-red side of my dress, the bloodstain like a Rorschach pattern. She pointed at it and calmly said, 'You got shoot on your dress.' After that, the hospital. I was wheeled—who wheeled me?—into the empty waiting area of the emergency room. A nurse at the desk looked up from her phone and said, expressionless, 'We’ve got a gunshot wound.'"

-- Phillip Tutor