Thursday morning, as I sat on the 6:15 AM train from Newark to D.C., I wondered what the heck I was doing. Why would I spend money and time and ditch work and family just to bear witness to a press conference that I could probably see and hear better on CSPAN? And then I remembered what my husband had told me the night before as I waffled about going thanks to my son’s 100.1 degree temperature. “You have to go. When will you ever get a chance like this again?” And then there was the fact that advocating for common sense gun legislation has become much more than a volunteer pastime over the last few months. So there I sat, hungry and tired and wearing too-tight shoes, on my way to breathe the same White House air as President Obama and to represent New Jersey’s chapter of Moms Demand Action to our nation’s capital.
And once I got there, I remembered that it wasn’t about me at all. I mean, it was – I had to go through four different security check points and I just had to take photos of myself in the East Room hallway and the ladies lounge with a Jackie Kennedy portrait – but it really was about the families. Victims of gun violence in wheelchairs and using canes (we don’t talk about them too often, do we?), fathers with downturned mouths when I asked why they were there, mothers who had lost their children just over a month ago or three months ago or six years ago or almost 20 years ago – with the grief was still visibly present. Still bubbling. Still overwhelming.
And there it is. There is what President Obama was trying to get those of us lucky ones to remember with his speech. The grief and loss of a parent who has lost a child – whether that child is six years old or 14 years old or 32 years old – that grief never goes away. It could be any one of us some day. And to have such senseless loss caused by something preventable (Oh no? It’s not? Compare the USA to other countries, why don’t you.) is unconscionable. If we can do anything to prevent even the slightest amount of more gun violence – whether they are suicides, unintentional shootings, homicides, the intimidation of guns in domestic situations, the stress brought on by living in a gun-friendly neighborhood or society – we must act before we say again and again, “This time it will be different.”
The President called on all of us to remind our elected members of Congress that we hadn’t forgotten what has happened in Newtown or Chicago or Aurora or Blacksburg or Newark or Columbine or Tucson or my town or the myriad communities (pdf) in which tragedies involving gun violence occur every single day.
It’s going to take moms and dads, and hunters and sportsmen, and clergy and local officials like the mayors who are here today standing up and saying, this time really is different — that we’re not just going to sit back and wait until the next Newtown or the next Blacksburg or the next innocent, beautiful child who is gunned down in a playground in Chicago or Philadelphia or Los Angeles before we summon the will to act. (from the President’s speech)
Don’t wait to take action until you are “part of the club” the current members don’t want to see grow. Don’t wait until it’s “personal.” Make it personal today. Get angry today. Tomorrow. Every day. Act Now.
Easy ways to let your legislators know that it’s time for common sense gun regulation – these can be used EVERY DAY!
Fast Email to Congress. (Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense looks up your representatives for you!) – 90 Seconds, for real.
Sign a petition, get a FREE phone call to Congress, learn more – Demand Action.
Find your members of Congress – make an appointment, call, write, repeat – Find your contacts here.
I’ve made dozens of phone calls, and I STILL get nervous calling. So does the woman in this video. Two things – 1) That’s totally okay. 2) The person to whom you’re speaking is probably an intern who is checking off a box on a sheet. Gun advocates are contacting legislators at a rate of 5 to 1 – FIVE to ONE! They are not the majority, but they are much more active. Take Action today and every day.
Sharing the good word on the yeah write moonshine grid.