The tragedies of the past few weeks are a uniquely American experience. As we’ve witnessed over and over again, mass shootings envelop the nation in grief, we learn the names of the victims, we ask “Why?”, knowing that no answer will make it make sense, and we ask for reform. Then it happens again.
It’s all too easy to feel helpless, hopeless, and like none of this can change.
I would simply ask you to take the time to grieve, but try not to feel hopeless or helpless.
There are specific actions we can take, when we’re ready, that can make sensible gun reform a reality in the United States.
First off, the federal government needs to play a role. There are two bi-partisan bills already on the Senate floor to increase and expand background checks (H.R. 1446 and H.R. 8). The unfortunate fact of the matter is unless NRA-backed candidates are willing to stand up to the gun lobby, these two bills will almost certainly fail. Do not give up hope. Some versions of these bills will eventually pass IF, and only if enough Americans tell Congress that they will be voted out of office if they continue to distract and misdirect all efforts to enact any form of gun safety legislation. Call Congress (202) 224-3121 or email your representatives if that’s easier for you but make sure your voice is heard by your Congressional representatives.
Next, learn more about the 2nd Amendment. Here it is, in its entirety…
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
The sad reality is that this Amendment has been hijacked by gun lobbyists and used to remove any restrictions related to gun regulations and gun safety. If you read the words it’s very clear that our Founding Fathers did not intend it to be unconstitutional or unAmerican to regulate guns in any way shape or form. Americans that believe in gun safety need to take this Amendment back and demand that gun owners are “well regulated”.
And lastly, get involved on the local level with Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety. They’re currently being outspent by gun rights groups, like the NRA, on lobbying efforts $15.8 million to just $2.9 million. Donate your time, your money, your voice.
Change won’t happen overnight, but taking these small, but impactful actions can help bring a sense of hope and reduce the sense of helplessness that is all too common when tragedies like this strike.
No matter what, don’t get numb to the senseless violence that we’re seeing across our country.
Do not accept it as normal and don’t let anyone else normalize it, EVER.
Because it does not need to be this way.
It should not be this way.
It cannot be this way.
And things won’t change based on thoughts and prayers or social shares.
When you’re ready, turn that anger and sadness into action.