Last week I attended a membership meeting for the local chapter of Mom’s Demand Action, “a grassroots movement of Americans fighting for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence.” Moms Demand Action is volunteer-based and was founded by Shannon Watts the day after the Sandy Hook tragedy. This is a non-partisan advocacy group promoting common sense gun safety measures.
I don’t know about you, but three recent mass shootings, including one so close to our home, is haunting me. I imagine the 6 year old jumping in a bouncy house, just as all of our kiddos do, being shot. I imagine the couple shielding their baby, and now that baby has no parents. So many of us have kids, or simply want to live without this haunting fear of mass shootings and gun violence. Whether you are a gun owner or not, most people that I talk to want safety around guns. I am so tired of being afraid to attend events, so tired of walking my son to school and thinking that today something could happen.
We are all so afraid and yet I feel we are so paralyzed. We look at each other and throw our hands up, enraged and not knowing what to do. I am with you. I am angry, frustrated, scared and hopeless. We all go back to our lives, to our needs and I get that, but what else can we do?
Here is what I learned and three (3) really easy things you can do:
1. I signed up for Mom’s Demand Action. You can too, here.
2. Come to the Recess Rally on Saturday, August 17th. It's time for our Senators to vote on common sense background checks.
3. Attend monthly Moms Demand Action meetings and learn more about gun safety. Meet Kendall Pata and Emily Engel, the local group co-leaders for our Santa Barbara movement and connect with other people who are doing something. Follow them on Instagram and Twitter.
At the meeting, I learned that 100 people die from gun violence every day. This includes kids who find a gun accidentally hurt or kill themselves. I learned one of the safest and easiest ways to reduce gun violence is safe storage of firearms. This means when your kids go on a play date, you need to ask the parents how they store their firearms and weapons. OMG. Have you ever asked that question? I haven’t. I assume my friends don’t have guns. But statistics show that firearms are the second leading cause of death for American children.
It is my goal to do a few things. I would like to boycott all stores that are selling guns—from the big ones to the small ones. I am sad that the one athletic store we have in town sells guns. Every time I go in there with my boys, I think it is weird and unnerving to walk past guns to get to baseballs. I am not going to shop there anymore. Everyone has to do their part, even the business owners and our city as well. I know many of us feel hopeless, like our voice, our vote doesn’t matter, but I also learned last night that in fact it does. Every letter, call or communication to your representative gets counted. And I truly believe every dollar spent has the loudest voice of all. Use your money to vote. Stop shopping at places that don’t align with your values.
This store is a forum of community, a place we can come together and talk about the needs of our community. While I know we think we live in a bubble, so did all of the communities that have been in these tragic horror shootings. I plan to be part of the movement for gun safety. I am open to conversation. I am open to bringing you information.
So while all the Fall deliveries come in, and the store is beautiful, I can’t help but feel still the sadness around the past weekend. I am motivated to do something, to be part of the solution, to act.
I invite you to do it with me.
Enough is enough.
In gratitude for your willingness to read, to learn and to call to change what needs to change,