As I dropped my kids off at school today and watched them walk away, I unexpectedly teared up. I have shed many tears over the past few days, but my reaction today took me by surprise.
On the way home, the one thing that kept going through my mind was, “Yes, it is time.”
I will not listen to the people who say that I’m not honoring the victims of Friday’s tragedy in Newtown by bringing up the issue of sensible gun control. Because for me, I would not be honoring the victims if I did not fight for this issue. Right now, while everyone is dialed in and listening, is exactly the time.
To me, it’s not political. What is political about wanting to protect my own children and, in fact all children, from this happening again?
The issue of violence at this level is incomprehensible, and the solutions complicated. It’s no easy fix. But to ignore the possibility of better, to say “now is not the time” or “we don’t need gun control, we need more guns”, well, I just simply don’t understand it.
Why can’t we look at solutions? Why can’t we expect better? Why must we wait to do these things? I believe this incident leaves us without a choice. We simply must address these issues and do it now.
Nothing is off the table. Let’s look at mental health care. Let’s look at gun control. Let’s look at security in our school systems. Let’s look at educational opportunities. Let’s look at violent videos games.
Notice at no time in this post did I mention a BAN on guns. I just said better gun control, so please don’t start with the second amendment stuff. Yes, I know we have the right to bear arms. But, nowhere does our constitution say we have a right to bear semi-automatic assault weapons. I don’t understand the pro-gun hunting crowd’s stance on this either. I mean, the last time I looked, hunters weren’t using 30-round clips to kill a deer. I would think that most true sportsman would agree that these types of weapons are unnecessary.
We can also do a much better job in regulating who can purchase guns. It should be at least as hard to get a gun as it is to get a driver’s license. Why is this controversial? Who on earth wants guns in the hands of the mentally unstable or those with criminal records?
And stop with the criminals will still get guns thing too. The guns used in most of these recent mass shootings were all purchased legally, not from some underground black market.
Oh, and the, they would just use other weapons thing? Last time I looked, you couldn’t kill 26 people in under a minute with a knife.
Why can’t we just consider the possibility that it should be easier in this country to get mental health care and harder to purchase assault weapons? Why is that a controversial statement?
As mothers, we have to ban together to be the voice of reason. Let’s make our voices louder than those of the NRA. Now is the time and I fear if we don’t do it, no one will. Until the next tradgedy, when everyone argues about it on TV and in social media, and then a bunch of people tell us “it’s not the time”, and then everyone does absolutely NOTHING to fix the problem…until it happens again…then we hit repeat…
I want off this spin cycle. The status quo is not working. It’s time for change.
Instead of just talking about it, I am going to be more active. If you would like to be part of the change too, here are some things that we can do right now:
- Join and support the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
- Support Senator Feinstein’s efforts to introduce an assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004 and has not been renewed.
- Sign this White House Petition to immediately address gun violence.
- Find out which elected officials receive funds from the NRA and write to them.
- Write to your current state and federal legislators and tell them you support sensible gun control.
- Be more vocal. Don’t let the NRA voices drown you out. Check out this “Five Lies the Gun Lobby Tells You” for talking points.
In addition to better gun control, we also need to look at the inadequate mental health care funding in our country and address the level of security in schools.
But for me, school security must stop way short of armed guards in every school, and teachers carrying concealed weapons, and teaching our children to live in fear. If the level of security at our schools needs to be armed guards to take out shooters wielding semi-automatic assault weapons aimed at our children, then I’m out. I will kick and scream and protest outside our schools before I sign up for that gig.
Most importantly, as moms we can love. Love our children. Love other people’s children. Love people who agree with you. Love people who disagree with you. Love other parents. Extend a hand to those who need help.
Change is in the air, I can feel it. I am hopeful, but beyond just being hopeful, I intend to do something this time. I can no longer stand idly by and let my voice be drowned out. This issue is too important.
I choose love. I choose change. Now.