Raising Voices: Gun Violence Prevention Edition

LisaMy post after the Zimmerman murder verdict about not being Trayvon Martin’s mother went mildly viral thanks to a few strategic shares from Erica at yeah write and Jill Smokler, aka Scary Mommy. And like a lot of other bloggers who write about Very Important Subjects, I hoped that my words had spurred a few people into action or more awareness or more empathy. Or something. And maybe they did. For a hot minute.

Part of what attracted me to Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America was that it made acting so easy. Click to write an email to your senator. Here’s the number to call your member of Congress. Nervous? Check out this video. Tongue-tied? Here is a script; change it as you wish. It was so easy! And since Columbine, when I had to explain to my high schoolers that no, school wasn’t a safe place either, I had been looking for a way to feel more powerful, effective, influential.

There are loads of issues pulling our attention in dozens of directions, so I get that not everyone can (or wants to) write about gun violence prevention. But there are people lifting their voices about gun violence. I want to help make it easier for people to read great posts that share thoughtful and perhaps varied points-of-view. And whether or not you are comfortable speaking out in your own words, you can support the cause by sharing their words.

So, for your reading awareness:

Lucy McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis, who was killed when Michael Dunn, a 45-year-old white gun collector and software engineer, fired at least eight shots into a carful of teenagers after admonishing them about the volume of their music, is interviewed in this article. Please read: “How many more black boys have to die?

Susan Diana, a writing instructor at Montclair State University, yearns for a discussion about the causes of mass shootings that don’t disintegrate: “Gun violence…demands we stop framing the discussion in sound bites, and that all of us, together, examine, with reliable, relevant, and accurate data, why mass killings keep happening and happening and happening.” Please read: “Are we safe?

Monica Bielanko, a popular blogger and writer for Babble, responds to the New York Times article about gun safety and children from this past Sunday. She asks, “What do gun rights advocates care if we create safe storage laws or develop childproof technology? Why all the backlash against background checks? You can still arm yourself to the teeth if you want; you just can’t have a criminal record or a history of mental illness or keep your loaded gun in your nightstand or under your pillow. If you’re a responsible gun owner, and you should be, why are these things even issues?” Please read: “I Choose Life, and That Means No Guns Under My Roof.

moonshine

Sharing the good word at yeah write’s moonshine grid. Check out the other fantastic writers over there!

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About That Unique* Weblog

Adjusting to the car culture, dealing with leaving a career I love, and spouting off along the way.
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16 Responses to Raising Voices: Gun Violence Prevention Edition

  1. Karen says:

    Thank you for compiling this. I like your phrase, “for your reading awareness”.

    Awareness is difficult to cultivate, and challenging to sustain. It seems like our collective attention spans are very short these days. Trayvon Martin, Fukushima, the gulf oil spill, etc. Our ability to *forget* about these things is depressing (and deadly).

    I read Monica Bielanko’s piece – heart-breaking, and thought-provoking. I plan to read the others this weekend. Thank you again.

    • Thanks for the comment, Karen! That’s so true. The sheer numbers of some tragedies can make us try to forget — and I think that the quickness of internet attention makes us both more aware and less concerned. How can we give lots of empathy to every tragedy? And so we pick and choose what we focus on. That’s what I try to explain to friends who apologize to me – to me! – for not being more active. I tell them that I am not out marching for anti-fracking or immigration or voting rights. I care about those topics deeply, and I support them, but I’ve chosen my time-consuming causes. And I appreciate when friends share info about THEIR causes because it’s like they curate it for me. 🙂

      Anyway, I hope this makes sense!

  2. Daniel Nest says:

    Thanks for spreading the word and awereness!

  3. nataliedeyoung says:

    Discussion needs to be had on this subject. People can be so irrationally defensive when it comes to even discussing the Second Amendment and gun control – but if we can’t even talk about it, how are we going to solve anything? *sigh*
    Thanks for writing this and bringing this issue to the table.

    • There is a small minority of folks with exceptionally loud voice boxes who are pushing politicians and legislators into a corner. It means that those with more moderate views need to speak up and be consistent — no matter which side they’re on.

  4. Like you, I find Moms Demand Action an accessible and straight forward communication strategy. I have begun talking to the local group and hope to find ways to work with them more.

    This was a very good compilation, thank you.

  5. mamarific says:

    I especially like the last piece by Bielanko. I truly do not understand how responsible gun owners could have a problem with common sense gun restrictions. It just baffles me. Thanks for all you do for this issue.

    • Responsible gun owners don’t have a problem with universal background checks (which don’t exist anywhere in the USA as of now) or moderate restrictions like the one handgun a month (!) limit that NJ has. (That’s handguns, not shotguns.) It’s a radical fringe that plans treasonous overthrow of the government that gets all the microphone time, unfortunately.

  6. anna says:

    Thank you for doing the work so I can have a great list of resources and information. I agree Moms Demand Action makes it easy to get involved, and they have had some amazing success getting the word out.

  7. Sorry, I missed this until this morning. Damn right, I’ll join you in raising hell, I mean my voice on the issue. Will link you next week in my weekly Blogs Over Easy. For now linking you through Twitter and FB. Silence doesn’t serve us. (Audre Lorde). Thank you.

  8. Ken says:

    They tried gun registration here in Canada, (long guns, hand guns are all supposed to be registered) and finally, I believe the whole thing has been scrapped. It was a very contested debate and we’re way more laid back about this sort of thing than they are in the US. The bad part is that only the honest, “law abiding” gun owners grudging complied. Anybody who wanted an illegal gun was still able to do it, illegally. I agree that gun violence has gotten way out of hand, yet as someone living a rural agricultural life, guns are still unfortunately, occasionally part of what I do. I don’t know what the answer is, but I don’t think I disagree with registration and certainly not back ground checks. One other thing, I’m not sure how it works in the US, but in Canada, we have to pass a course on the use of firearms and have that certificate to buy a gun.

    • Hi Ken, thank you for the comment! Here in New Jersey, we have relatively strong laws surrounding firearms. However, almost 80% of the guns used in crimes come from out of state — from states that have more lax restrictions. We need a better and consistent background check system that is universal here.

      What the more extreme factions of the gun lobby in the USA has done is label anyone who wants background checks (don’t even MENTION registration!) as a “gun grabber.” Now I like my rainbows and unicorns as well as the next person, but I also have sympathy and understanding for (what I consider) reasonable need for firearms. I just think that the people with those needs should be qualified and have their background’s checked for bad behavior. Stockpiling to prepare to overthrow a tyrannical government is not what I’d consider reasonable — and that’s the most common interpretation of the 2nd Amendment I’ve heard from the gentlemen (and occasional lady) who accost me.

      I am glad to hear that there is a safety course component. Here you can be shown how to load, unload, etc, by the shopkeeper, but there is no requirement to show you are capable. The high number of firearm accidents is a testament to its need!

      Again, thanks so much for adding your voice!

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